Prevalence and predictors of culprit plaque rupture at OCT in patients with coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis

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The prevalence of plaque rupture at the culprit lesion identified by optical coherence tomography (OCT) in different clinical subset of patients undergoing coronary angiography and its clinical predictors remain to be defined.


All studies including patients with OCT evaluation of the culprit coronary plaque were included. The prevalence of culprit plaque rupture (CPR) and thin-cap fibro-atheroma (TCFA) were the primary endpoints. The factors associated with these findings were studied in a subset of patients with different clinical presentations [ST-elevation myocardial (STEMI) vs. nonST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) vs. unstable angina (UA) vs. stable angina pectoris (SAP)].


One hundred and fifty citations were initially appraised at the abstract level and 23 full-text studies were assessed. The mean prevalence of CPR and TCFA was 48.1% (40.5–55.8) and 48.7% (37.4–60.1), respectively. The prevalence of CPR and TCFA were higher in STEMI (70.4 and 76.6%) than in NSTEMI (55.6 and 56.3%) and UA (39.1 and 52.9%) or SAP (6.2 and 22.8%). In the overall population at meta-regression analysis, TCFA and current smoking were the only predictors of CPR (B 3.6:2.0–5.1, P < 0.001 and 0.06:0.02–0.1, P = 0.002, respectively). The factors associated with CPR were different depending on clinical presentation. Hypertension was the only clinical predictor for STEMI (B 3.3: 1.2.–5.3 P = 0.001), while advanced age (B 0.12: 0.02–0.22, P = 0.021), diabetes mellitus (B 0.04: 0.01–0.08, P = 0.012), and hyperlipidaemia (B 0.07:0.02–0.11, P = 0.005) were the predictors in NSTEMI and UA. No clinical predictor was found in SA.


Our analysis showed high rates of CPR and TCFA detected by OCT in CAD patients, especially in those with ACS, although their prevalence is not negligible in stable patients. TCFA seems to be a strong predictor of CPR in all the ACS scenarios.

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