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Multimodal characterization of compositional, structural and functional features of human atherosclerotic plaques.

  • Author(s): Sun, Yang;
  • Chaudhari, Abhijit J;
  • Lam, Matthew;
  • Xie, Hongtao;
  • Yankelevich, Diego R;
  • Phipps, Jennifer;
  • Liu, Jing;
  • Fishbein, Michael C;
  • Cannata, Jonathan M;
  • Shung, K Kirk;
  • Marcu, Laura
  • et al.

Detection of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability has critical clinical implications for avoiding sudden death in patients with high risk of plaque rupture. We report on multimodality imaging of ex-vivo human carotid plaque samples using a system that integrates fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), ultrasonic backscatter microscopy (UBM), and photoacoustic imaging (PAI). Biochemical composition is differentiated with a high temporal resolution and sensitivity at the surface of the plaque by the FLIM subsystem. 3D microanatomy of the whole plaque is reconstructed by the UBM. Functional imaging associated with optical absorption contrast is evaluated from the PAI component. Simultaneous recordings of the optical, ultrasonic, and photoacoustic data present a wealth of complementary information concerning the plaque composition, structure, and function that are related to plaque vulnerability. This approach is expected to improve our ability to study atherosclerotic plaques. The multimodal system presented here can be translated into a catheter based intraluminal system for future clinical studies.

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