Optical coherence tomography to evaluate coronary stent implantation and complications

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Coronary optical coherence tomography (OCT) is now an established imaging technique in many catheterization laboratories worldwide. With its near-histological view of the vessel wall and lumen interface, it offers unprecedented imaging quality to improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, plaque vulnerability, and vascular biology. Not only is OCT used to accurately detect atherosclerotic plaque and optimize stent position, but it can further characterize plaque composition, quantify stent apposition, and assess stent tissue coverage. Given that its resolution of 15 μm is well above that of angiography and intravascular ultrasound, OCT has become the invasive imaging method of choice to examine the interaction between stents and the vessel wall. This review focuses on the application of OCT to examine coronary stents, the mechanisms of stent complications, and future directions of OCT-guided intervention.

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