Visualization and characterization of inner arterial plaque depositions is of vital diagnostic interest. Established intravascular imaging techniques provide valuable morphological information, but cannot deliver information about the chemical composition of individual plaques. Probe based Raman spectroscopy offers the possibility for a biochemical characterization of atherosclerotic plaque formations during an intravascular intervention. From post mortem studies it is well known that the severity of a plaque and its stability are strongly correlated with its biochemical composition. Especially the identification of vulnerable plaques remains one of the most important and challenging aspects in cardiology. Thus, specific information about the composition of a plaque would greatly improve the risk assessment and management. Furthermore, knowledge about the composition can offer new therapeutic and medication strategies. Plaque calcifications as well as major lipid components such as cholesterol, cholesterol esters and triglycerides can be spectroscopically easily differentiated. Intravascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) is currently a prominent catheter based imaging technique for the localization and visualization of atherosclerotic plaque depositions. The high resolution of OCT with 10 to 15 µm allows for very detailed characterization of morphological features such as different plaque formations, thin fibrous caps and accurate measurements of lesion lengths. In combination with OCT imaging the obtained spectral information can provide substantial information supporting on on-site diagnosis of various plaque types and therefor an improved risk assessment. The potential and feasibility of combining OCT with Raman spectroscopy is demonstrated on excised plaque samples, as well as under in vivo conditions.
Acknowledgements: Financial support from the Carl Zeiss Foundation is greatly acknowledged.
Christian Matthäus, Sebastian Dochow, Kokila D. Egodage, Iwan Schie, Bernd F. Romeike, Bernhard R. Brehm, and Jürgen Popp, "Detection and characterization of atherosclerotic plaques by Raman probe spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10042, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology, 100420A (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252789.5369982369001.
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