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.