- The Japanese Circulation Society
- Circulation Journal (ISSN:13469843)
- vol.81, no.12, pp.1886-1893, 2017-11-24 (Released:2017-11-24)
Background:The presence of ceramide in human coronary plaques is a risk factor for ischemic heart disease, but its visualization in the human vessel wall is currently beyond the scope of any available imaging techniques.Methods and Results:Deposition of ceramide was examined by fluorescent angioscopy (FA) and microscopy (FM) using golden fluorescence (Go) as a specific marker of ceramide in yellow plaques, which were obtained from 23 autopsy subjects and classified by conventional angioscopy and histology. Ceramide was observed by FM in 34 of the 41 yellow plaques with a necrotic core (NC) but rarely in the 28 without. Ceramide and macrophages/foam cells co-deposited mainly in the border zone of the NC and fibrous cap (FC). The Go of ceramide was seen when the fibrous cap thickness was ≤100 µm. FA was performed to detect coronary plaques exhibiting Go in patients with coronary artery disease. Ceramide was also detected by FA in 6 of 18 yellow plaques (33.3%) in 8 patients with stable angina and in 18 of 24 yellow plaques (75.0%, P<0.05 vs. stable angina) in 8 patients with old myocardial infarction.Conclusions:The Go of ceramide in human coronary plaques is detectable by FA and Go could be used as a marker of vulnerable plaque (i.e., thin FC with NC).