OBJECTIVES: This study sought to assess the diagnostic value of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in patients with suspected spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD).
METHODS: Following a prospective protocol, OCT was performed in 17 consecutive patients with a clinical and angiographic suspicion of SCD from a total of 5,002 patients undergoing coronary angiography. A conservative management strategy was followed.
RESULTS: OCT ruled out the diagnosis of SCAD in 6 patients with coronary artery disease (atherosclerotic plaques and/or intracoronary thrombus). In 11 patients (age 48 ± 9 years, 9 female), OCT confirmed the presence of SCAD. A double-lumen or intramural hematoma image was visualized in all cases. However, only 3 patients presented an intimal “flap” on angiography. OCT readily identified the intimal rupture site (n = 7), the thickness (348 ± 84 μm) and length (31 ± 9 mm) of the intimomedial membrane, the area of the true (1.1 ± 0.5 mm(2)) and false lumen (5.9 ± 2.1 mm(2)), the associated intramural hematoma (n = 9), and thrombi in the true or false lumens (n = 11). Most of these findings were angiographically silent. After stenting (n = 4), OCT disclosed adequate stent coverage, expansion, and apposition, but also residual intramural hematoma at the stented site (abluminal) and at the distal vessel.
CONCLUSIONS: OCT provides unique insights in patients with SCAD that allow an early diagnosis and adequate management. Most of these findings are undetectable by angiography.
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