Background Recent studies described different clinical and underlying plaque characteristics between patients with and without plaque rupture presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). In light of the systemic nature of atherosclerosis, we hypothesized that nonculprit plaques might also express different morphological features in these 2 groups of patients. Methods Thirty-eight patients with ACS who underwent 3-vessel optical coherence tomography imaging were identified from the Massachusetts General Hospital Optical Coherence Tomography Registry. Based on culprit plaque morphology, the study population was divided into 2 groups: patients with plaque rupture at the culprit lesion (group 1) and patients with nonruptured plaque at the culprit lesion (group 2). Prevalence and features of nonculprit plaques were compared between the 2 groups. Results A total of 118 nonculprit plaques were analyzed. Patients in group 1 (n = 17) had nonculprit plaques with higher prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma (52.9% vs 19.0%, P =.029) and disruption (35.3% vs 4.8%, P =.016) compared with patients in group 2 (n = 21). Nonculprit plaques in group 1 showed wider maximum lipid arc (198.9 ± 41.7 vs 170.2 ± 41.9, P =.003), greater lipid length (7.8 ± 4.4 mm vs 5.1 ± 2.4 mm, P =.003), higher lipid index (1196.9 ± 700.5 vs 747.7 ± 377.3, P =.001), and thinner fibrous cap (107.0 ± 56.5 μm vs 137.3 ± 69.8 μm, P =.035) compared with those in group 2. Conclusions The present study showed distinctive features of nonculprit plaques between patients with ACS caused by plaque rupture and patients with ACS caused by nonruptured plaques. Patients with plaque rupture had increased pancoronary vulnerability in nonculprit plaques, suggesting that a more aggressive treatment paradigm aiming at the stabilization of vulnerable plaques may offer additional benefit to these patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine