Intracoronary imaging using attenuation-compensated optical coherence tomography allows better visualisation of coronary artery diseases

Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2013 May-Jun;14(3):139-43. doi: 10.1016/j.carrev.2013.03.007. Epub 2013 Apr 28.


Purpose: To allow an accurate diagnosis of coronary artery diseases by enhancing optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of atheromatous plaques using a novel automated attenuation compensation technique.

Background: One of the major drawbacks of coronary OCT imaging is the rapid attenuation of the OCT signal, limiting penetration in tissue to only few millimetres. Visualisation of deeper anatomy is however critical for accurate assessment of plaque burden in-vivo.

Methods: A compensation algorithm, previously developed to correct for light attenuation in soft tissues and to enhance contrast in ophthalmic OCT images, was applied to intracoronary plaque imaging using spectral-domain OCT.

Results: Application of the compensation algorithm significantly increased tissue contrast in the vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaque boundaries. Contrast enhancement allows a better differentiation of plaque morphology, which is particularly important for the identification of lipid rich fibro atheromatous plaques and to guide decision on treatment strategy.

Conclusion: The analysis of arterial vessel structure clinically captured with OCT is improved when used in conjunction with automated attenuation compensation. This approach may improve the OCT-based interpretation of coronary plaque morphology in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Automation, Laboratory
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional