Fully integrated high-speed intravascular optical coherence tomography/near-infrared fluorescence structural/molecular imaging in vivo using a clinically available near-infrared fluorescence-emitting indocyanine green to detect inflamed lipid-rich atheromata in coronary-sized vessels

Sunki Lee, Min Woo Lee, Han Saem Cho, Joon Woo Song, Hyeong Soo Nam, Dong Joo Oh, Kyeongsoon Park, Wang Yuhl Oh, Hongki Yoo, Jin Won Kim

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Background-Lipid-rich inflamed coronary plaques are prone to rupture. The purpose of this study was to assess lipidrich inflamed plaques in vivo using fully integrated high-speed optical coherence tomography (OCT)/near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) molecular imaging with a Food and Drug Administration-approved indocyanine green (ICG). Methods and Results-An integrated high-speed intravascular OCT/NIRF imaging catheter and a dual-modal OCT/NIRF system were constructed based on a clinical OCT platform. For imaging lipid-rich inflamed plaques, the Food and Drug Administration-approved NIRF-emitting ICG (2.25 mg/kg) or saline was injected intravenously into rabbit models with experimental atheromata induced by balloon injury and 12- to 14-week high-cholesterol diets. Twenty minutes after injection, in vivo OCT/NIRF imaging of the infrarenal aorta and iliac arteries was acquired only under contrast flushing through catheter (pullback speed up to ≤20 mm/s). NIRF signals were strongly detected in the OCT-visualized atheromata of the ICG-injected rabbits. The in vivo NIRF target-to-background ratio was significantly larger in the ICG-injected rabbits than in the saline-injected controls (P<0.01). Ex vivo peak plaque target-to-background ratios were significantly higher in ICG-injected rabbits than in controls (P<0.01) on fluorescence reflectance imaging, which correlated well with the in vivo target-to-background ratios (P<0.01; r=0.85) without significant bias (0.41). Cellular ICG uptake, correlative fluorescence microscopy, and histopathology also corroborated the in vivo imaging findings. Conclusions-Integrated OCT/NIRF structural/molecular imaging with a Food and Drug Administration -approved ICG accurately identified lipid-rich inflamed atheromata in coronary-sized vessels. This highly translatable dual-modal imaging approach could enhance our capabilities to detect high-risk coronary plaques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-569
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1



  • Atherosclerotic
  • Indocyanine green
  • Molecular imaging
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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