Intracoronary Optical Coherence Tomography: A Comprehensive Review

OBJECTIVES: Cardiovascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a catheter-based invasive imaging system.

METHODS: Using light rather than ultrasound, OCT produces high-resolution in vivo images of coronary arteries and deployed stents. This comprehensive review will assist practicing interventional cardiologists in understanding the technical aspects of OCT based upon the physics of light and will also highlight the emerging research and clinical applications of OCT.

RESULTS: Semi-automated imaging analyses of OCT systems permit accurate measurements of luminal architecture and provide insights regarding stent apposition, overlap, neointimal thickening, and, in the case of bioabsorbable stents, information regarding the time course of stent dissolution. T

CONCLUSIONS: The advantages and limitations of this new imaging modality will be discussed with emphasis on key physical and technical aspects of intracoronary image acquisition, current applications, definitions, pitfalls, and future directions.  

PMID: 19926041

Posted in Invasive Imaging and tagged , , .


  1. Invasive tomography imaging modalities are mostly associated with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), but also OCT is used to validate vessel wall/plaque imaging with CT and MRI.

  2. OCT is currently/mostly used to obtain high-resolution images of the retina. However, a lot research has lately been seeking to develop a method that uses its frequency domain to image coronary arteries; and understandably so, because it provides tissue morphology imagery at much higher resolution than other imaging modalities such as MRI or ultrasound.

  3. This is very interesting technology. In an invasive fashion similar to IVUS, OCT uses light (rather than ultrasound) to produce high-resolution in vivo images of coronary arteries and stents. Great review of a promising technology!

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