Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22254510
The use of intravascular imaging modalities for the detection and assessment of atherosclerotic plaque is becoming increasingly useful. Current clinical invasive modalities assess the presence of plaque using anatomical information and include Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). However, such modalities cannot take into account underlying functional biological information, which can however be revealed with the use of molecular imaging. Consequently, intravascular molecular imaging is emerging as a powerful approach. We have developed such a Near-Infrared Fluorescence (NIRF) imaging system and showcased, in both phantom and in-vivo (rabbit) experiments, its potential to successfully detect inflamed atherosclerotic plaques, using appropriate fluorescent probes. Here, we discuss some limitations of the current system and suggest the combined use of the NIRF and IVUS imaging systems as a means for more accurate assessment of atherosclerotic plaque. We include some results and models that showcase the potential power of this kind of hybrid imaging.