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15 March 2016 Fast integrated intravascular photoacoustic/ultrasound catheter
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In cardiology, a vulnerable plaque is considered to be a key subject because it is strongly related to atherosclerosis and acute myocardial infarction. Because conventional intravascular imaging devices exhibit several limitations with regard to vulnerable plaque detection, the need for an effective lipid imaging modality has been continuously suggested. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a medical imaging technique with a high level of ultrasound (US) resolution and strong optical contrast. In this study, we successfully developed an integrated intravascular photoacoustic/ultrasound (IV-PAUS) imaging system with a catheter diameter of 1.2 mm for lipid-rich atherosclerosis imaging. An Nd:YAG pulsed laser with an excitation wavelength of 1064 nm was utilized. IV-PAUS offers 5-mm depth penetration and axial and lateral PA imaging resolutions of 94 μm and 203 μm, respectively, as determined by imaging a 6-μm carbon fiber. We initially obtained 3-dimensional (3D) co-registered PA/US images of metal stents. Subsequently, we successfully obtained 3D coregistered PA/US ex vivo images using an iliac artery from a rabbit atherosclerosis model. Accordingly, lipid-rich plaques were sufficiently differentiated from normal tissue in the ex vivo experiment. We validated these findings histologically to confirm the lipid content.
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Changhoon Choi, Seunghee Cho, Taehoon Kim, Sungjo Park, Hyoeun Park, Jinmoo Kim, Seunghoon Lee, Yeonsu Kang, Kiyuk Jang, and Chulhong Kim "Fast integrated intravascular photoacoustic/ultrasound catheter", Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 970854 (15 March 2016);

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