Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT, is a technology that allows cardiologists to look inside the heart’s coronary arteries during a heart catheterization, which is a procedure to diagnose and treat blockages in arteries. OCT uses near-infrared light to scan the artery to help gain a better understanding of the vessel and how to treat it. 

Traditionally, during a heart catheterization, x-ray (angiography) is used to assess blockages that hinder blood flow to the heart, but these images have limitations and only provide a 2D view from the outside looking in.

Using OCT provides 20 times the resolution of angiography to view the artery in 3D from the inside out.

The technology helps distinguish what is causing the blockage in the artery, such as type of clot or plaque, to determine what type of treatment is needed. OCT even assists in determining what size stent is needed by measuring the artery, helping improve outcomes for patients.