First use of infrared laser imaging system to analyse coronary
2 June 2008
at a hospital in Michigan have successfully used InfraReDx, Inc's
LipiScan coronary imaging system in a patient undergoing a cardiac
catheterisation. The system is a catheter-based device that uses
infrared laser light to detect how much fat and other substances are
contained in a plaque.
InfraReDx says the patient is the first in the world in whom it has
been possible to assess the chemical composition of coronary artery
plaques and utilize such information to assist in the management of
coronary artery disease.
Dr Daniel Schultz, Director of the FDA Center for Devices and
Radiological Health, has stated, "This is the first device that can help
assess the chemical make-up of coronary artery plaques and help
physicians identify those plaques with lipid cores, which may be of
Physicians at Beaumont Hospital performed the procedure on May 8,
2008 in a 70-year old male patient. The LipiScan System revealed the
presence of a lipid core containing plaque not detectable by
conventional diagnostic measures.
This fatty plaque was located near a narrowing that required a
coronary stent for the usual reasons. Because of the presence of this
plaque, the physicians selected a stent that was 50% longer than the one
that would have been used to cover the narrowing only.
This longer stent covered the lipid core containing plaque and
avoided placing the end of a shorter stent in the fatty plaque.
Termination of a stent in a fatty plaque has been associated with
clotting of the stent years after placement.
"If doctors can identify these fatty plaques, we can recommend better
treatment options to patients," says DrSimon Dixon, director of the
cardiac catheterization laboratories and co-director of cardiac research
at Beaumont, Royal Oak. "This information tells us immediately what
length of stent to use and where to place it in patients with severe
narrowings. Based on further research, this novel device may help
determine which type of stent — bare metal or drug-eluting — is best for
"The InfraReDx team is pleased that the LipiScan Coronary Imaging
System has been validated in tissue samples and a clinical study and has
been cleared by the FDA for use in patients. We understand the great
potential of interventional cardiology and anticipate that this novel
tool will assist physicians with the complex decisions they face in the
management of patients with coronary artery disease," said James
Muller, MD, cardiologist, co- founder, President and CEO of InfraReDx,
"There is a real unmet medical need to identify lipid core containing
plaques of interest in the coronary arteries, which before now we could
not do," said James Goldstein MD, an interventional cardiologist and
consultant to InfraReDx. "The ability to detect lipid core containing
plaques of interest may go a long way in providing information to help
prevent heart attacks in the near future."