Clinical features and lipid profiles of plaque erosion over lipid-rich plaque versus fibrous plaque in patients with acute coronary syndrome


      • Approximately 70% of plaque erosion (PE) presented as PE(Lipid).
      • The prevalence of STEMI was lower in the PE(Fibrous) than in the PE(Lipid).
      • The lipid profiles of PE(Lipid) were different from those of PE(Fibrous).


      Background and aims

      Pathological reports have shown that plaque erosion (PE), a common cause of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), can form in both fibrous plaque and lipid-rich plaque (LRP). In plaque rupture (PR), which is the main cause of ACS, the underlying plaque is LRP with a thin fibrous cap. In this study, we aimed to investigate the clinical features and lipid profiles of PE with or without LRP in comparison with those of PR.


      A total of 166 patients with ACS, who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and met the criteria for PR or PE, were included. LRP was defined as plaque with a maximal lipid arc (>180°). Culprit lesions were categorized into PR and PE with/without LRP [PE(Lipid) or PE(Fibrous)].


      The prevalence of PR, PE(Lipid), and PE(Fibrous) was 104 (62.7%), 43 (25.9%), and 19(11.4%), respectively. The patients with PR and PE(Lipid) had a significantly higher peak creatine kinase level (1338 and 1584U/L, respectively, p < 0.01) and prevalence of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (71.2% and 79.1%, respectively, p < 0.01) than those with PE(Fibrous) (214U/L and 21.1%, respectively). The various lipid profiles were mostly comparable between the patients with PE(Lipid) and PR, but different in those with PE(Fibrous). The levels of small dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly higher in the patients with PR and PE(Lipid) than in those with PE(Fibrous) (39.0, 35.3, and 25.7 mg/dL, respectively, p = 0.02).


      The clinical features and lipid profiles are substantially different between PE(Lipid) and PE(Fibrous), but are somewhat similar between PE(Lipid) and PR.

      Graphical abstract


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