US-based Infraredx Inc. has developed a unique system for the detection of lipid-core plaques (LCPs) in coronary arteries. The patented TVC Imaging System™ is the only FDA-cleared technology capable of identifying lipid-core plaques.

TVC Imaging System™

The TVC Imaging System uses single-use TVC Insight catheters based on dual modality, i.e., clinically proven Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and commonly used Intravascular Ultrasound imaging technology (IVUS) with 40 MHz frequency. Following the introduction of the TVC Insight catheter in one pullback, it is possible to observe the interior of the artery (using IVUS technology) and the LCP chemical composition (using NIRS technology). In a user-friendly system interface, it is possible to analyse the intravascular ultrasound image as well as the chemogram, i.e., the spectroscopic image. We are able to identify lipid-rich sections of the artery, which may be a useful piece of information for an interventional cardiologist who is to implant a coronary stent into an artery.

Infraredx has sponsored a number of clinical trials aimed at confirming the hypothesis that LCPs could be the ones with the highest number of in-stent restenoses and recurrent myocardial infarctions. Rather promising data from the Lipid-Rich-Plaque Study were presented at TCT 2018.

Infraredx continues innovating its products and is now introducing the new Makoto Imaging System, which is compatible with the long-awaited Dualpro IVUS+NIRS catheters. The Makoto Imaging System boasts an enhanced and completely intuitive user interface. The Dualpro IVUS+NIRS catheter also uses both Near Infrared Spectroscopy and Intravascular Ultrasound imaging technology.  The new catheter operates at 35–64 MHz frequency; the resulting image is thus of higher quality.