OCT and CMR for the Diagnosis of Patients Presenting With MINOCA and Suspected Epicardial Causes

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2020 Dec;13(12):2619-2631. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2020.05.045. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Objectives: Among all patients presenting with myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA), epicardial causes may be suspected when there is a correlation between electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and regional wall motion abnormalities (WMAs). We evaluated the diagnostic yield of intravascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in this specific setting.

Background: OCT is able to identify different morphologic features of coronary plaques that are well known causes of MINOCA. Furthermore, CMR has become the gold standard for detection of myocardial infarction in the setting of MINOCA.

Methods: In a prospective 2-center study, consecutive patients with MINOCA including ECG features of ischemia associated with corresponding WMAs underwent OCT and CMR.

Results: Forty patients (mean age: 50 ± 11 years, 62.5% male, 32.5% with ST-segment elevation) were enrolled. Coronary arteries were normal on coronary angiography in 10 patients (25%); 18 patients (45%) presented minimal lumen irregularities, whereas the remaining 12 patients (30%) showed mild to moderate (≥30% but <50%) coronary lesions. Plaque rupture, eruptive calcific nodule, plaque erosion, lone thrombus, and spontaneous coronary artery dissection were found in 14 (35%), 1 (2.5%), 12 (30%), 3 (7.5%), and 2 (5%) patients, respectively. Acute myocardial infarction was evident at CMR in 31 of 40 patients (77.5%). Twenty-three patients (57.5%) had a substrate and/or diagnosis supported by both techniques with an evident relationship between the findings obtained by the 2 techniques. By coupling OCT with CMR, a substrate and/or diagnosis was found in 100% of cases.

Conclusions: OCT coupled with CMR can provide a clear substrate and/or diagnosis in the vast majority of patients presenting with MINOCA including ECG features of ischemia associated with corresponding WMAs.

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance; myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries; optical coherence tomography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease*
  • Coronary Vessels
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence