1. Endothelial progenitor cells and plaque burden in stented coronary artery segments: an optical coherence tomography study six months after elective PCI

    Endothelial progenitor cells and plaque burden in stented coronary artery segments: an optical coherence tomography study six months after elective PCI

    Background Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are involved in neovascularization and endothelial integrity. They might be protective in atherosclerosis. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a precise intracoronary imaging modality that allows assessment of subintimal plaque development. We evaluated the influence of EPC on coronary plaque burden in stable disease and implemented a novel computational plaque analysis algorithm using OCT. Methods Forty-three patients (69.8% males, 69.6 ± 7.7 years) were investigated by OCT during re-angiography 6 months after elective stent implantation. Different subpopulations of EPCs were identified by flow cytometry according to their co-expression of antigens (CD34+, CD133+, kinase domain ...

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