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Study of Coronary Plaque Rupture in Heart Attack Following Surgery Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) (OPTIMUS)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01555177
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified November 2014 by Victar Hsieh, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : March 15, 2012
Last Update Posted : November 4, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Victar Hsieh, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation

Brief Summary:


It is commonly believed that a heart attack is caused by rupture of a plaque in the wall of the coronary artery, resulting in blood clots which impede blood flow. Currently, the investigators do not know whether heart attacks in patients who had a recent surgery are caused by the same disease process as those who did not have any surgery. This study will inform the investigators of very vital information about the cause of surgery-related heart attacks by taking images of coronary arteries using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Images will also be taken from heart attack patients who did not have recent surgery, and the two groups will be compared.

OCT imaging

OCT is a relatively new imaging technology which is much better at taking images of the inside of the artery. OCT imaging procedure is carried out at the time of scheduled coronary angiogram, where a catheter with a mini-camera at its tip is advanced into the coronary artery, it will record video images of a length of the artery. These images will take approximately 3-4 seconds to obtain. Besides the OCT imaging being performed, the rest of the angiogram procedure is carried out in exactly the same way as it would normally proceed.

The OCT study will provide doctors with new information about the cause of surgery-related heart attacks, and will guide doctors in treating and preventing heart attacks in patients who undergo surgery.


The investigators hypothesize that features of acute plaque rupture will be more common in patients with non-surgery related heart attacks compared to those which occur following surgery.


Two groups of patients will be recruited(>20 in each group):

  1. non-surgery related heart attack patients
  2. patients who suffered from a heart attack following an operation.

Outcome measures

Using OCT, plaque features in coronary arteries of patients with heart attacks from both the surgical and non-surgical groups at the time of coronary angiogram will be compared.

Condition or disease
Peri-operative Myocardial Infarction Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Detailed Description:

The majority of spontaneous non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarctions (NSTEMI) are attributed to rupture of an unstable atherosclerotic plaque in an epicardial coronary artery with thrombus formation. On the other hand, the pathophysiology underlying myocardial infarction following non-cardiac surgery is not well understood. The literature suggests that a significant proportion of myocardial infarctions following surgery may result from decreased myocardial perfusion in the presence of stable coronary artery disease without plaque rupture or thrombus formation.

Intra-coronary Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) provides superior visualisation of the vascular lumen and structures close to the arterial lumen compared to IVUS, including features of plaque instability, including atherosclerotic plaque contents, fibrous cap thickness, thin cap fibroatheromas (TCFA), macrophage infiltration and calcium (2-10). OCT is therefore an ideal imaging technique to examine the pathophysiology involved in POMI, where features of plaque rupture and thrombus formation can be clearly distinguished from stable plaques.

An improved understanding of the pathophysiology of MI following non-cardiac surgery will guide management more appropriately.

Primary objective

  1. To identify features of acute plaque rupture in peri-operative myocardial infarction (POMI)
  2. To compare frequency of acute plaque rupture imaging findings between POMI and non-operative non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)


The investigators hypothesize that features of acute plaque rupture will be more common in patients with non-operative NSTEMI compared to POMI.

Outcome measures

1. OCT features of coronary plaque rupture will be obtained at the time of coronary angiography, these features include thin cap fibroatheroma, intramural thrombus and plaque fissuring. OCT data from NSTEMI and POMI patient groups will be compared. Data on other plaque features, including fibrous cap thickness, lipid core, minimum luminal cross-sectional area (CSA), ruptured cavity CSA will also be collected, and compared between the two patient groups.

There will be no clinical follow-up in this study.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 60 participants
Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: OCT Plaque and Thrombus IMaging in Patients Who Underwent Non-cardiac Surgery
Study Start Date : April 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date : February 2015
Estimated Study Completion Date : February 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Heart Attack Tears

Peri-operative NSTEMI patients
Patients with POMI undergoing cardiac catheterization within 72 hours of first troponin elevation and within 2 weeks of their non-cardiac surgery.
Non-surgery related NSTEMI patients
Patients with NSTEMI undergoing cardiac catheterization within 72 hours of symptom onset.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Evidence of plaque rupture by OCT imaging [ Time Frame: Day 1 ]
    OCT evidence of plaque rupture, presence of white or red thrombus will be collected at the time of coronary angiography.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Other features OCT features of atherosclerotic plaques. [ Time Frame: Day 1 ]
    lFeatures of stable plaques in the coronary artery, including: Lipid core, fibrous cap, thin cap fibroatheroma, thick cap fibroatheroma, minimum luminal cross-sectional area, ruptured cavity CSA.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
NSTEMI and peri-operative MI patients will be screened in the catheterisation laboratory. In addition, peri-operative MI patients will be screened in hospital wards, where patient referral for cardiac catheterisation will be based on clinical indications.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age over 18
  • Referred to coronary angiography with the view of revascularisation

Exclusion Criteria:

  • ST elevation myocardial infarction
  • Shock defined as the systolic blood pressure <90mmHg and tachycardia with heart rate >100 with evidence of systemic organ hypoperfusion.
  • Inability to give consent
  • Previous coronary artery bypass surgery due to the limited anticipated feasibility of OCT imaging in native vessels of patients with prior bypass grafts.
  • PCI with stenting in the previous 6 months due to the elevated risk of stent related complications (thrombosis or restenosis) as the potential cause of the NSTEMI.
  • GFR <35 due to need for additional 40-60 cc contrast during OCT imaging.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01555177

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Contact: Victar Hsieh, MBBS PhD 1-905-527-4322

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Canada, Ontario
Hamilton General Hospital Recruiting
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8L 2X2
Contact: Tej Sheth   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Victar Hsieh
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Principal Investigator: Victar Hsieh, MBBS PhD Hamilton Health Services
Principal Investigator: Tej Sheth, BArts SC MD Hamilton Health Services

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Responsible Party: Victar Hsieh, Interventional fellow, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation Identifier: NCT01555177     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 12-099
First Posted: March 15, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 4, 2014
Last Verified: November 2014
Keywords provided by Victar Hsieh, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation:
Peri-operative myocardial infarction
Non-ST elevation myocardial infarction
Optical coherence tomography
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Myocardial Infarction
Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction
Pathologic Processes
Myocardial Ischemia
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Vascular Diseases