Features and Outcomes of Patients with Calcified Nodules at Culprit Lesions of Acute Coronary Syndrome: An Optical Coherence Tomography Study

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Objectives: We sought to clarify clinical features and outcomes related to calcified nodules (CN) compared with plaque rupture (PR) and plaque erosion (PE) detected by optical coherence tomography (OCT) at the culprit lesions in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Methods: Based on OCT findings for culprit lesion plaque morphologies, ACS patients with analyzable OCT images (n = 362) were classified as CN, PR, PE, and other. Results: The prevalence of CN, PR, and PE was 6% (n = 21), 45% (n = 163), and 41% (n = 149), respectively. Patients with CN were older (median 71 vs. 65 years, p = 0.03) and more diabetic (71 vs. 35%, p = 0.002) than those without CN. In OCT findings, the distal reference lumen cross-sectional area (median 4.2 vs. 5.2 mm2, p = 0.048) and the postintervention minimum lumen cross-sectional area (median 4.5 vs. 5.3 mm2, p = 0.04) were smaller in lesions with CN than in those without. Kaplan-Meier estimate survival curves showed that the 500-day survival without target lesion revascularization (TLR) was lower (p = 0.011) for patients with CN (72.9%) than for those with PR (89.3%) or PE (94.8%). Conclusions: ACS patients with CN at the culprit lesion had more TLR compared to those with PR or PE.

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