Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9880

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Current OCT Approaches Do Not Reliably Identify TCFAs

Mark E. Brezinski and Kishore J Harjai

It is now clearly established that Thin-Capped Fibroatheromas (TCFAs) lead to most Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACSs). The ability to selectively intervene on TCFAs predisposed to rupture and ACSs would dramatically alter the practice of cardiology. While the ability of OCT to identify thin walled plaques at micron scale resolutions has represented a major advance, it is a misconception that it can reliably identify TCFAs. One major reason is that the ‘diffuse border’ criteria currently used to determine ‘lipid plaque’ is almost undoubtedly from high scattering in the intima and not because of core composition (necrotic core). A second reason is that, rather than looking at lipid collections, studies need to be focused on identifying necrotic cores with OCT. Necrotic cores are characteristic of TCFAs and not lipid collections. Numerous other OCT approaches are available which can potentially accurately assess TCFAs, but these have not been aggressively pursed which we believe likely stems in part from the misconceptions over the efficacy of ‘diffuse borders’.