There is an ever-increasing demand for new imaging methods that can provide additional information about the coronary wall to better characterize and stratify high-risk plaques, and to guide interventional and pharmacologic management of patients with coronary artery disease. While there are a number of imaging modalities that facilitate the assessment of coronary artery pathology, this review paper focuses on intravascular optical imaging modalities that provide information on the microstructural, compositional, biochemical, biomechanical, and molecular features of coronary lesions and stents. The optical imaging modalities discussed include angioscopy, optical coherence tomography, polarization sensitive-optical coherence tomography, laser speckle imaging, near-infrared spectroscopy, time-resolved laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging. Given the wealth of information that these techniques can provide, optical imaging modalities are poised to play an increasingly significant role in the evaluation of the coronary artery in the future.
Copyright © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.