Multispectral fluorescence lifetime imaging system for intravascular diagnostics with ultrasound guidance: in vivo validation in swine arteries



Fluorescence lifetime technique has demonstrated potential for analysis of atherosclerotic lesions and for complementing existing intravascular imaging modalities such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) in identifying lesions at high risk of rupture. This study presents a multimodal catheter system integrating a 40 MHz commercial IVUS and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIm) using fast helical motion scanning (400 rpm, 0.75 mm/s), able to acquire in vivo in pulsatile blood flow the autofluorescence emission of arterial vessels with high precision (5.08 ± 0.26 ns mean average lifetime over 13 scans). Co-registered FLIm and IVUS data allowed 3D visualization of both biochemical and morphological vessel properties. Current study supports the development of clinically compatible intravascular diagnostic system integrating FLIm and demonstrates, to our knowledge, the first in vivo intravascular application of a fluorescence lifetime imaging technique. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)