OCT provides more detail inside carotid arteries

July 31, 2012
Researchers at the University of Siena in Italy used optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the carotid arteries of carotid stent patients, thereby gaining more knowledge of cardiac disease and improving the stenting procedure.

The ability to see inside the arteries of vascular disease patients in high resolution before and during stenting procedures is crucial. So researchers at the University of Siena (Siena, Italy) used optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the carotid arteries (which supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood) of carotid stent patients, thereby gaining more knowledge of cardiac disease and improving the stenting procedure.

In the study, 25 patients undergoing carotid artery stenting also underwent OCT before stent deployment, immediately after stent placement, and following postdilation of the stent. The OCT technique had a success rate of 97.3 percent, and no complications occurred for the patients during the procedures or in the hospital.

Through the use of OCT in the study, physicians were able to see, among other details, rupture of the fibrous cap, plaque prolapse, and stent malapposition in patients. As the authors of the commentaries note, future applications could reveal further details that increase our understanding of carotid stenting and influence clinical policies regarding its use.

Carotid artery stenting has not reached its predicted potential, in part owing to lack of reimbursement in the United States and mixed results from European trials. OCT may provide evaluation of critical aspects of carotid artery stenting. Additionally, more evidence from OCT clinical research could help health authorities realize the value of the carotid artery stenting procedure.

For more information on the work, which has been published in the Journal of Endovascular Therapy, please visit http://jevt.org/toc/enth/19/3.

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