We performed a retrospective, observational, analysis in patients who underwent PCI with adjunctive OCT imaging following presentation with NSTEMI, where the infarct-related artery(IRA) was either in an SVG or NCA.
A total of 1550 OCT segments was analysed from thirty patients with a mean age of 66.3 (±9.0) years were included. The mean graft age of 13.9 (±5.6) years in the SVG group. OCT imaging showed that the SVG group had evidence of increased lipid pool burden (lipid pool quadrants, 2.1 vs 2.7; p = 0.021), with a reduced fibro-atheroma cap-thickness in the SVG group (45.0 μm vs 38.5 μm; p = 0.05) and increased burden of calcification (calcified lesion length = 0.4 mm vs 1.8 mm; p = 0.007; calcified quadrants = 0.2 vs 0.9; p = 0.001; arc of superficial calcium deposits = 11.6° vs 50.9°; p = 0.007) when compared to NCA.
This OCT study has demonstrated that vein grafts have a uniquely atherogenic environment which leads to the development of calcified, lipogenic, thin-capped fibro-atheroma's, which may be pivotal in the increased, acute and chronic graft failure rate, and may underpin the increased adverse outcomes following vein graft PCI.
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