A Combined Optical Coherence Tomography and Intravascular Ultrasound Study on Plaque Rupture, Plaque Erosion, and Calcified Nodule in Patients With ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Incidence, Morphologic Characteristics, and Outcomes After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Takumi Higuma, Tsunenari Soeda, Naoki Abe, Masahiro Yamada, Hiroaki Yokoyama, Shuji Shibutani, Rocco Vergallo, Yoshiyasu Minami, Daniel S Ong, Hang Lee, Ken Okumura, Ik-Kyung Jang
JACC. Cardiovascular Interventions 2015 August 17, 8 (9): 1166-1176

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate the incidence of plaque rupture (PR), plaque erosion (PE), and calcified nodule (CN) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI); to compare detailed morphologic plaque characteristics of PR, PE, and CN with optical coherence tomography and intravascular ultrasound; and to compare the post-procedure outcomes among PR, PE, and CN.

BACKGROUND: The incidence and detailed morphologic characteristics of PR, PE, and CN in STEMI patients and their outcome after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are unknown.

METHODS: A total of 112 STEMI patients who underwent PCI within 24 h [corrected] from symptom onset were included. Both optical coherence tomography and intravascular ultrasound were performed following aspiration thrombectomy.

RESULTS: The incidence of PR, PE, and CN was 64.3%, 26.8%, and 8.0%, respectively. PE and CN, compared with PR, had more fibrous plaque (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) and less thin-cap fibroatheroma (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) as well as smaller plaque burden (p = 0.003 and p = 0.001) and remodeling index (p = 0.003 and p < 0.001). PE had greater plaque eccentricity index than PR and CN (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001). CN had greater calcified arc and shallower calcium than PR (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) or PE (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001). More than one-half of CN had negative remodeling. PE had a lower incidence of no-reflow phenomenon after PCI than PR (p = 0.011).

CONCLUSIONS: PE was the underlying mechanism in one-fourth of STEMI. PE was characterized by eccentric fibrous plaque. CN was characterized by superficial large calcium and negative remodeling. PE was associated with less microvascular damage after PCI.

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