1. Cholesterol Crystals Associate With Coronary Plaque Vulnerability In Vivo

    Cholesterol Crystals Associate With Coronary Plaque Vulnerability In Vivo

    The high local concentration of cholesterol in foam cells has been reported to formulate cholesterol crystals, which trigger a local inflammatory response ( 1 ). Intracellular crystals also induce apoptosis of foam cells, leading to further attraction of macrophages and development of a lipid-rich necrotic core 2 . These effects may suggest a potential contribution of cholesterol crystals to plaque destabilization. Frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) enables visualization of cholesterol crystals in vivo ( 3 ). We investigated the impact of cholesterol crystals on plaque vulnerability in stable patients with coronary artery disease.

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