The spatial distribution of plaque vulnerabilities in patients with acute myocardial infarction

Guian Zheng, Yuxin Li, Tadateru Takayama, Toshihiko Nishida, Mitsumasa Sudo, Hironori Haruta, Daisuke Fukamachi, Kimie Okubo, Yoshiharu Higuchi, Takafumi Hiro, Satoshi Saito, Atsushi Hirayama

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although the plaque characteristics have been recognized in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the plaque spatial distribution is not well clarified. Using color-mapping intravascular ultrasound (iMAP-IVUS), we examined culprit lesions to clarify plaque morphology, composition and spatial distribution of the sites of potential vulnerability. Methods: Sixty-eight culprit lesions in 64 consecutive AMI patients who underwent angiography and IVUS examinations before intervention were analyzed. Plaque morphology and composition were quantified with iMAP-IVUS. The spatial distribution of the sites of potential vulnerability was assessed with longitudinal reconstruction of the consecutive IVUS images. The plaque characteristics were also compared between ruptured and non-ruptured lesions, and between totally occlusive (TO) and non-TO lesions. Results: The sites with maximum necrotic area (maxNA), maximum plaque burden (maxPB) and most severely narrowed (minimal luminal area, MLA) were recognized vulnerability. In the majority of cases, maxNA sites were proximal to the maxPB sites, and MLA sites were distal to the maxNA and maxPB sites. Ruptures usually occurred close to maxNA sites and proximal to maxPB and MLA sites. The average distance from the site of rupture to the maxNA site was 0.33 ± 4.04 mm. Ruptured lesions showed significant vessel remodeling, greater plaque volume, and greater lipidic volume compared to those of non-ruptured lesions. Both the length and plaque burden (PB) of TO lesions were greater than those of non-TO lesions. Conclusions: Instead of overlapping on maxPB sites, most maxNA sites are proximal to the maxPB sites and are the sites most likely to rupture. Plaque morphology and composition play critical roles in plaque rupture and coronary occlusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152825
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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