Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a useful intravascular modality for evaluating changes in the coronary artery after stent implantation. With the application of light rather than ultrasound, OCT can provide high- resolution in vivo images of the coronary artery and evaluate the stent status and neointimal tissue after coronary stent implantation more accurately than intravascular ultrasound. Novel findings on OCT assessment include the detection of strut coverage, malapposition, and the characterization of neointimal tissue during stent follow- up. In addition, clinical implications of OCT based findings at follow-ups after implantation of drug eluting stents (DES) have been reported. Several studies have suggested that stent strut coverage and neointimal characteristics post DES implantation are associated with late stent thrombosis. Therefore, late stent-based changes may serve as crucial developments to be evaluated by OCT. This comprehensive review on the role of OCT during stent implantation follow-up will provide both relevant technical information on OCT and further insight into the clinical utility of OCT.
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