Myocardial infarctions are most often caused by the so-called vulnerable plaques, usually featured as non-obstructive lesions with a lipid-rich necrotic core, thin-cap fibroatheroma, and large plaque size. The identification and quantification of these characteristics are the keys to evaluate plaque vulnerability. However, single modality intravascular methods, such as intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography and photoacoustic, can hardly achieve all the comprehensive information to satisfy clinical needs. In this paper, for the first time, we developed a novel multi-spectral intravascular tri-modality (MS-IVTM) imaging system, which can perform 360° continuous rotation and pull-backing with a 0.9-mm miniature catheter and achieve simultaneous acquisition of both morphological characteristics and pathological compositions. Intravascular tri-modality imaging demonstrates the ability of our MS-IVTM system to provide macroscopic and microscopic structural information of the vessel wall, with identity and quantification of lipids with multi-wavelength excitation. This study offers clinicians and researchers a novel imaging tool to facilitate the accurate diagnosis of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. It also has the potential of clinical translations to help better identify and evaluate high-risk plaques during coronary interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics