Coronary adventitia harbors a wide variety of components, such as inflammatory cells and vasa vasorum (VV). Adventitial VV initiates the development of coronary artery diseases as an outside-in supply route of inflammation. We have recently demonstrated that drug-eluting stent implantation causes the enhancement of VV formation, with extending to the stent edges in the porcine coronary arteries, and also that optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI) is capable of visualizing VV in humans in vivo. However, it remains to be fully validated whether OFDI enables the precise measurement of VV formation in pigs and humans. In the pig protocol, a total of 6 bare-metal stents and 12 drug-eluting stents were implanted into the coronary arteries, and at 1 month, the stented coronary arteries were imaged by OFDI ex vivo. OFDI data including the measurement of VV area at the stent edge portions were compared with histological data. There was a significant positive correlation between VV area on OFDI and that on histology (R=0.91, P<0.01). In the human protocol, OFDI enabled the measurement of the VV area at the stent edges after coronary stent implantation in vivo. These results provide the first direct evidence that OFDI enables the precise measurement of the VV area in coronary arteries after stent implantation in pigs and humans.
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