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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Characterization of vulnerable plaques by multiphoton microscopy
Author(s): Magnus B. Lilledahl; Olav Anton Haugen; Catharina de Lange Davies; Lars Othar Svaasand
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Paper Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in the United States; the majority of these deaths are caused by the rupture of vulnerable plaques. An important feature of vulnerable plaques is the thickness of the fibrous cap that covers the necrotic core. A thickness of less than 65 μm has been proposed as a value that renders the plaque prone to rupture. This work shows that multiphoton microscopy (MPM) can image the plaque with µm resolution to a depth deeper than 65 μm. The fibrous cap emits primarily second harmonic generation due to collagen, in contrast to the necrotic core and healthy artery, which emits primarily two-photon excited fluorescence from elastin. This gives a good demarcation of the fibrous cap from underlying layers, facilitating the measurement of the fibrous cap thickness. Based on a measure of the collagen/elastin ratio, plaques were detected with a sensitivity of 65% and specificity of 81%. Furthermore, the technique gives detailed information on the structure of the collagen network in the fibrous cap. This network ultimately determines the mechanical strength of the plaque. A mechanical model based on this information could yield a measure of the propensity of the plaque to rupture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2007
PDF: 12 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(4) 044005 doi: 10.1117/1.2772652
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Magnus B. Lilledahl, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (Norway)
Olav Anton Haugen, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (Norway)
Catharina de Lange Davies, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (Norway)
Lars Othar Svaasand, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (Norway)

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