Clinical and pathological characteristics of homogeneous and nonhomogeneous tissue of in-stent restenosis visualized by optical coherence tomography

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Although it is known that in-stent restenosis (ISR) patterns appear homogeneous or nonhomogeneous by optical coherence tomography (OCT), interpretations of the ISR inflammatory response, of the OCT image, and its pathological implications are unclear. The aim of this study was to use OCT to characterize ISR and its inflammatory index in patients after coronary stenting.


OCT was performed at follow-up in 100 angiographic ISR lesions. ISR lesions were divided into two groups: (a) homogeneous (n=48) and (b) nonhomogeneous (n=52) image groups. We assessed the ISR images produced by OCT for tissue heterogeneity and neo-intimal hyperplasia using the normalized standard deviation of OCT signal-intensity (OCT-NSD) observed in neo-intimal hyperplasia tissue. In some patients with a nonhomogeneous OCT image, we collected pathological tissue.


The prevalence of drug-eluting stents was 48% in the nonhomogeneous group and 29% in the homogeneous group (P=0.05). The OCT-NSD value in the nonhomogeneous group (0.223±0.019) was significantly higher than that in the homogeneous group (0.203±0.025; P<0.0001). Pathological tissue showed fibrin thrombi with infiltrating macrophage in 12 cases of nonhomogeneous ISR. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the prediction of a nonhomogeneous image was 0.73 for OCT-NSD (95% confidence interval: 0.62–0.83: P<0.0001). The odds ratio for the prediction of a nonhomogeneous image was 3.47 (95% confidence interval: 1.18–10.2: P=0.02) for smoking by logistic regression analysis.


Nonhomogeneous ISR visualized by OCT showed a high OCT-NSD value, which was a useful predictor for nonhomogeneous images. Moreover, the nonhomogeneous ISR image visualized by OCT may show chronic inflammation and fibrin thrombi.

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