The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved InfraReDx's LipiScan NIR Catheter Imaging System, a device that a doctor can use to see inside a blood vessel to assess the fat content of the plaque which builds up on the wall of the coronary arteries, for marketing.
The InfraReDx LipiScan NIR Catheter Imaging System can be used by physicians to evaluate patients with symptoms of coronary heart disease during a heart test known as cardiac angiography, to help in detection of plaques that have lipid (fatty) cores. Plaque is a deposit made up of cholesterol-rich fat, calcium and other substances found in the blood. As plaque accumulates on the artery wall, it reduces blood flow to the heart muscle and increases the risk of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack.
The InfraReDx LipiScan NIR Catheter Imaging System uses infrared imaging to detect lipid core-containing plaques of interest and assess a patient's coronary artery lipid core burden index. The device works by placing a catheter equipped with a fiber-optic laser light into the artery. The device shines the near infrared light delivered through the blood to the artery wall and measures the light reflected back from the artery wall, a technique called spectroscopy. The reflected wavelengths vary depending on how much fat and other substances are in the plaque in the illuminated portion of the wall.