Coronary artery disease

Peri-strut low-intensity areas in optical coherence tomography correlate with peri-strut inflammation and neointimal proliferation: an in-vivo correlation study in the familial hypercholesterolemic coronary swine model of in-stent restenosis.

PMID 25013949


Peri-strut low-intensity area (PLI) is a common imaging finding during the evaluation of in-stent neointima using optical coherence tomography (OCT). We aimed to determine the biological significance of PLI by comparing in-vivo OCT images with the corresponding histological sections obtained from the familial hypercholesterolemic swine model of coronary stenosis. A total of 26 coronary vessels of nine familial hypercholesterolemic swine were injured with 30% balloon overstretch and then immediately followed by everolimus eluting or bare metal stent placement at 20% overstretch. At 30 days, all stented vessels were subjected to in-vivo OCT analysis and were harvested for histological evaluation. For OCT analysis, stent cross-sections (three per stent) were categorized into presence (PLI+) or absence (PLI-) of PLI. In histology, inflammation and fibrin deposition were scored semiquantitatively from 0 (none) to 3 (severe). PLI was found in 64.9% of stent sections. Peri-strut inflammation was more frequently observed in OCT sections PLI (+) compared with PLI (-) (56.0 vs. 7.4%, P=0.01). In contrast, peri-strut fibrin deposits was similar in both groups (PLI+=58.0% vs. PLI-=59.3%, P=0.94). Histological neointimal thickness was significantly higher in PLI (+) sections (mean±SE: 0.68±0.06 vs. 0.34±0.02 mm; P<0.01), yielding a higher percent area stenosis compared with PLI (-) (mean±SE: 59.0±4.4 vs. 34.1±2.2%, P<0.01). The PLI diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for inflammation were 80 and 76.1%, respectively (>56% PLI, area under the curve=0.86, P<0.01), whereas for fibrin deposition, the sensitivity and specificity were 42.2 and 76.1%, respectively (area under the curve=0.56, P=NS). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was significantly higher for identifying inflammation than fibrin (0.86 vs. 0.56, P<0.01). The severity of PLI correlated with the neointimal thickness when assessed by OCT (R=0.79, P<0.001). The presence of PLI in OCT correlates with neointimal thickness and appears to have a diagnostic value in the recognition of peri-strut inflammation, therefore possibly serving as a surrogate for in-vivo assessment of stent efficacy.