Intracoronary near-infrared spectroscopy and the risk of future cardiovascular events

Sofia Karlsson, Erik Anesäter, Klara Fransson, Pontus Andell, Jonas Persson, David Erlinge

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19 Citations (SciVal)


Objectives The objectives of this study were to investigate if findings by intracoronary near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) are associated with future cardiovascular events and if NIRS can differentiate culprit from non-culprit segments in patients with coronary artery disease. Methods The study included 144 patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and combined NIRS-IVUS imaging at two Swedish hospitals. The NIRS-derived lipid core burden index (LCBI), the 4 mm segment with maximum LCBI (MaxLCBI 4mm) and the IVUS-derived maximum plaque burden (MaxPB) were analysed within the culprit segment and continuous 10 mm non-culprit segments of the index culprit vessels. The association with future major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), defined as all-cause mortality, acute coronary syndrome requiring revascularisation and cerebrovascular events during follow-up was evaluated using multivariable Cox regressions. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to test the ability of NIRS to discriminate culprit against non-culprit segments. Results A non-culprit maxLCBI 4mm ≥400 (HR: 3.67, 95% CI 1.46 to 9.23, p=0.006) and a non-culprit LCBI ≥ median (HR: 3.08, 95% CI 1.11 to 8.56, p=0.031) were both significantly associated with MACCE, whereas a non-culprit MaxPB ≥70% (HR: 0.61, 95% CI 0.08 to 4.59, p=0.63) was not. The culprit segments had larger lipid cores compared with non-culprit segments (MaxLCBI 4mm 425 vs 74, p<0.001), and the ROC analysis showed that NIRS can differentiate culprit against non-culprit segments (c-statistics: 0.85, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.89). Conclusion A maxLCBI 4mm ≥400 and LCBI ≥ median, assessed by NIRS in non-culprit segments of a culprit artery, were significantly associated with patient-level MACCE. NIRS furthermore adequately discriminated culprit against non-culprit segments in patients with coronary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000917
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • intravascular ultrasound
  • lipid-rich plaques
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • vulnerable plaques


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