Silent healing of spontaneous plaque disruption demonstrated by intracoronary ultrasound

Eur Heart J. 1995 Aug;16(8):1149-51. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.eurheartj.a061061.


Intracoronary ultrasound was performed at diagnostic coronary angiography and 10 days later in a 45-year-old patient with a 3-day history of acute inferior myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography showed considerable stenosis (80%) in the distal right coronary artery (RCA) (pre the crux) and what appeared to be a dissection in the middle RCA. Intracoronary ultrasound identified this as plaque disruption. Coronary balloon angioplasty was then performed in the distal stenotic segment. Follow-up angiography 10 days after coronary intervention revealed that the flap in the lumen had disappeared. Intracoronary ultrasound imaging showed that the ruptured plaque had resealed and had the appearance of layering in the atheroma similar to thrombus formation. In summary, plaque disruption and subsequent thrombus formation can be demonstrated in vivo by intracoronary ultrasound. Monitoring this process may have important clinical significance in patient management and in assessing clinical prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*