Friday, March 26, 2010
Massachusetts General Hospital to create international registry for coronary optical coherence tomography (USA)
"Massachusetts General Hospital, together with a coalition of 20 international sites in five countries, will create the world's largest registry of patients who have had optical coherence tomography of the coronary arteries. OCT is an intravascular imaging technology that researchers hope will give doctors a better means to identify the dangerous vulnerable plaques that cause heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. When a vulnerable plaque in the coronary artery ruptures the result for the patient can be catastrophic. Ruptured plaques can block blood flow to the heart muscle, and cardiologists estimate they cause two-thirds to three-quarters of all fatal heart attacks. Standard imaging technologies are not able to identify the microscopic characteristics of vulnerable plaques. Twenty sites in five countries - Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and the United States - will collect data from 3,000 patients who have had OCT of the coronary arteries during a cardiac catheterization procedure and follow them for five years. MGH researchers will gather the data in a central database. Researchers hope the data will help determine the efficacy of OCT in identifying vulnerable plaques in patients as well as its benefits as a follow-up procedure to stent placement"