Posts Tagged ‘oct’

This is the story of PCI to LAD from the customary bifurcation workshop for the budding experts, which ended up with a compulsive final OCT run-through, triggering a debate on what to do with the side branch.

What shall we do next?
  1. Just balloon dilate the distal strut
  2. Would consider a second stent. Maybe a TAP  depending upon LCX morphology
  3. At this stage, I would like to know the FFR or iFR across LCX Jail.
  4. Get rid of this OCT, Let me have look at regular CAG. I bet I can make a better decision.
  5. Leave it alone if the clinical status & profile is good

Leave it alone? Is it not an incomplete Job?

Definitely incomplete. Please realize, No job is complete in interventional cardiology. If we believe so, it exposes our Ignorance ( & some arrogance). Intentional side branch jailing is an integral part of  PCI techniques. Are we not ignoring day in and day out. 

Someone in the audience asked Why did you do OCT at all? 

The chief operator quipped “You can’t ask this silly question in a scientific workshop. We bought the OCT kit to improve the quality of PCI. We are proud of it. Really feel blessed to use it and I am sure my patients will benefit from it”. We have to agree with him. These new Imaging techniques though give us extra high-definition, but it comes with troubling revelations with their new vision. If you are pathologically honest and believe in empowering patients, it is absolutely necessary to convey the following facts in the discharge record as well. It would be something like this, “There was a 120-micron strut crossing the LCX ostium, that might continuously impede a chunk of platelets & RBCs every beat, for the rest of your life and might enhance the risk for thrombosis. (Of course, DAPT will take care of it and ask the patient not to worry)” 

OCT: One-minute review

OCT is Indeed a stunning Innovation. It can be useful in all 3 phases of PCI. 1. Assessment and preparation of lesion bed. 2. during stent deployment and optimization. ,3. Post-stenting follow up. The technology has grown so fast, now angiographic co-registration and longitudinal frame reconstruction comes inbuilt. It required 3 versions of LUMEN study and a 4 th one (LUMEN 4 ) is yet to come, expected in 2022  to prove the worthiness (or worthlessness)  of OCT. 

One attractively named DOCTORS study asked the specific question directly (Does Optical Coherence Tomography Optimize Results of Stenting)”  This is from NSTEMI patients .read yourself for the conclusion. It is not convincing to me.  Meneveau N.,  DOCTORS study (Does Optical Coherence Tomography Optimize Results of Stenting)”Circulation 2016134: 906.

Mind you, OCT is not only an expertise-dependent procedure, it also has important imaging limitations. It has low penetration max 2mm, can not differentiate lipids from calcium, shadowing behind red thrombus is an issue and most importantly it may miss the external elastic lamina (EEL) and measurement errors are real. 


If an imaging technique to assess a stent *(*Still waiting to prove its worthiness) could cost more than the device itself, realize how good our economic intellect is. Just because your lab has an OCT console, it need not transform into a technically perfect PCI. There are at least half a dozen factors other than Imaging that matters. 

Final message

OCT is a breakthrough technology that needs to be used judiciously and it definitely helps us understand the nuances of coronary stenting, especially in complex lesion subsets, and its mechanical and histological contents. However, let us not propagate a false message, that without OCT we can’t perform a perfect PCI. Give due respect to all those sharp-eyed interventional cardiologists with good techniques, who can do a better job, beating the HD vision of OCT, with their native blindness. 




Can you guess how many PCIs are done with OCT guidance globally?

It is less than 5 %. In India, it must be, I guess it is < 2% So, we are living in a terrifying world of coronary interventions, where  98 % of PCI is happening blindly, sub-optimally, and unscientifically., Data from CLI-OPCI registry adds more panic:  Centro per la Lotta Contro l’Infarto – Optimisation of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (CLI-OPCI) registry:  It says device-oriented cardiovascular event (DOSE) is high with OCT detected sub-optimal  PCI.

So, what are we going to tell our patients who will undergo PCI (undergone) without OCT guidance in the past, present, and future?

Simply ask them to forget this OCT stuff. Just reassure them. Nothing will happen.

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In the early 1980s , when cardiac physicians were confronting how to tackle intra coronary thrombus , one man from Japan  was  looking directly at the ground zero with fiber-optic coronary angioscope .He  provided live images  of coronary plaques and thrombus (long before the IVUS and OCT era) because of technical difficulties it did not get into  clinical utility  but gave us vital information like plaque morphology and behavior.

  • The concept of red and white thrombus
  • The yellow lipid enriched vulnerable plaques
  • Post lytic  clot surface
  • The fibrin strands within the clot etc.

coronary angioscopy Yasumi Uchida

The angioscopes have now given way to IVUS and OCT which provide indirect vision of the coronary arteries .Uchida has written a book tilted coronary angioscaopy which is a must read for all clinical cardiologists.

I think Japanese are  leading in this aspect of cardiac Imaging .Yasunori Ueda is another person who has  done lot of work on angioscopy . here is an  Image from his paper. Exciting  stuff  is isn’t !

coronary angioscopy  Yasunori Ueda www.invasivecardiology

Image source : Yasunori Ueda http://www.invasivecardiology.com




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