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Korean Circ J. 2016 Jul;46(4):499-506. English. Original Article.
Kwon JE , Lee WS , Mintz GS , Hong YJ , Lee SY , Kim KS , Hahn JY , Sharath Kumar KS , Won H , Hyeon SH , Shin SY , Lee KJ , Kim TH , Kim CJ , Kim SW .
Heart Research Institute, Cardiovascular-Arrhythmia Center, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Cardiovascular Research Foundation, New York, USA.
Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Koyang, Korea.
Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju, Korea.
Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: We assessed plaque erosion of culprit lesions in patients with acute coronary syndrome in real world practice. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Culprit lesion plaque rupture or plaque erosion was diagnosed with optical coherence tomography (OCT). Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was used to determine arterial remodeling. Positive remodeling was defined as a remodeling index (lesion/reference EEM [external elastic membrane area) >1.05. RESULTS: A total of 90 patients who had plaque rupture showing fibrous-cap discontinuity and ruptured cavity were enrolled. 36 patients showed definite OCT-plaque erosion, while 7 patients had probable OCT-plaque erosion. Overall, 26% (11/43) of definite/probable plaque erosion had non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) while 35% (15/43) had ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Conversely, 14.5% (13/90) of plaque rupture had NSTEMI while 71% (64/90) had STEMI (p<0.0001). Among plaque erosion, white thrombus was seen in 55.8% (24/43) of patients and red thrombus in 27.9% (12/43) of patients. Compared to plaque erosion, plaque rupture more often showed positive remodeling (p=0.003) with a larger necrotic core area examined by virtual histology (VH)-IVUS, while negative remodeling was prominent in plaque erosion. Overall, 65% 28/43 of plaque erosions were located in the proximal 30 mm of a culprit vessel-similar to plaque ruptures (72%, 65/90, p=0.29). CONCLUSION: Although most of plaque erosions show nearly normal coronary angiogram, modest plaque burden with negative remodeling and an uncommon fibroatheroma might be the nature of plaque erosion. Multimodality intravascular imaging with OCT and VH-IVUS showed fundamentally different pathoanatomic substrates underlying plaque rupture and erosion.

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