From InfraReDx, Inc.:
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ — The TCT 2009 meeting will feature an unusual amount of novel information about Vulnerable Coronary Artery Plaque, the structure widely considered to be the primary cause of acute coronary events, the leading cause of death in the developed world. The concept of Vulnerable Plaque has been a topic of study for over 2 decades. TCT will showcase progress on a number of diagnostic catheters designed to identify the lipid core plaques that are widely suspected to be vulnerable.
Monday, September 21 — Four presentations in the day-long Vulnerable Plaque Symposium describing the experience with LipiScan, a novel near-infrared spectroscopy catheter (InfraReDx, Inc.) approved in 2008 by the FDA for identification of lipid core plaques. (Room 131)
Thursday, September 24 — Dr. Gregg Stone will present the results of the 3 year follow-up of suspected vulnerable plaques in the Prospect Trial, a study of over 700 patients with multi-vessel ultrasound (Virtual Histology, Volcano, Inc.) measurements at baseline. This major trial is the first, large, long-term study of the hypothesis that harmful vulnerable plaques can be identified before they cause a coronary event. (Room 300)
In 1989, Dr. James Muller and colleagues introduced the term "Vulnerable Plaque" to describe a plaque at high risk of disruption that leads to coronary thrombosis…(see remainder of story at link).
Much about atherosclerosis and its association with acute coronary events has long been well known, but the question of vulnerable plaque has only begun to be elucidated within the last few years. Knowing which atheromas represent the greatest risk for triggering a coronary event, and where they reside, represents a potential windfall in making coronary intervention (see report on Coronary Stents), or surgery, more precise. This in turn may lead to exclusion of "false positives" and "false negatives" in diagnosis of at-risk patients, increasing the likelihood of saving more lives while reducing unnecessary interventions.