OCT Imaging

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Registry

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are spearheading an international effort to study optical coherence tomography (OCT), an imaging technology that could help doctors identify the vulnerable coronary plaques that cause heart attacks or sudden cardiac death.


Researchers at Mass General are leading the first optical coherence tomography (OCT) registry, an international database of 3,000 patients who have received OCT. Optical coherence tomography is an intravascular imaging technique that may help physicians identify the vulnerable plaques that lead to heart attacks or sudden cardiac death.

To build the OCT registry, we are partnering with 20 prominent institutions internationally. Using information gathered from the registry, it is our goal to provide knowledge that will help doctors prevent heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. We are also evaluating the possibility of using OCT to prevent late catastrophic complications of stenting.

Why OCT Imaging

By creating extremely high-resolution images from within the artery, OCT can pinpoint the microscopic characteristics of a vulnerable plaque, as opposed to intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which is more widely used, but has a lower resolution. Currently OCT is the only intravascular imaging technique with the resolution sufficient (approximately 10 µm) to delineate fine structures, such as thin fibrous caps and to characterize plaque types, such as lipid rich plaque. We have also discovered that OCT can detect subtle structural changes after PCI, such as plaque disruption including tissue prolapse and protrusion with high sensitivity.

Mass General Pioneers Using OCT Imaging

Researchers at Mass General are pioneers in the use of optical coherence tomography to view the coronary arteries at an unprecedented level. Over the past decade, we have led the way in using this technology by:

  • 1999: Performing the use of OCT imaging for the first time in a human, a medical advancement that made OCT more widely known
  • 2000: Publishing one of the first papers characterizing vulnerable plaques in humans by using OCT imaging
  • 2008: Collaborating with researchers from Korea, Japan and China to begin creating the first OCT registry
  • 2010: Participating in the study that led to FDA approval of OCT imaging in the United States, making the technology more readily available to patients
  • 2010: Hosting an international symposium that brought together the world’s thought leaders in OCT imaging

Group Members

The OCT Team

The Massachusetts General Hospital Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Registry is led by a team of world class researchers who have devoted their careers to pioneering OCT imaging. Meet the team behind the OCT registry, including:

Ik-Kyung Jang

Ik-Kyung Jang, MD, PhDIk-Kyung Jang, MD, PhDis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Cardiology Laboratory for Integrative Physiology and Imaging (CLIPI) at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Jang came to Massachusetts General Hospital in 1987 from Leuven University in Belgium, where he has completed his residency in medicine and fellowship in cardiology. He also successfully defended his doctorate thesis at the same university. After his advanced fellowship in cardiology at Mass General, he joined the staff and is currently working as a physician and an interventional cardiologist in the Cardiology Division.

His research interest has been acute coronary syndromes including acute myocardial infarction. His earlier research focused on pharmacology and physiology of thrombosis and thrombolysis including thrombin hypothesis and platelet inhigition. For the last twelve years he has pioneered the application of intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to patients to better characterize coronary plaques and to understand the mechanisms of plaque rupture. Dr. Jang was the first to perform intravascular OCT procedure in a patient. In addition, he was the principal investigator for the recent US multicenter OCT trial. Dr. Jang has been invited to lectures at numerous national and international meetings. His publications number more than 200.

Farhad Abtahian

Farhad Abtahian, MD, PhD, Research FellowFarhad Abtahian completed medical school and obtained a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he studied vasculogensis and lymphangiogenesis with Drs. Mark Kahn and Gary Koretzky. He then completed residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Currently, he is in his third year of fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interest is focused on using intravascular imaging to better understand the pathophysiology of coronary artery disease and pulmonary hypertension. In 2013, he will be entering the interventional cardiology fellowship program at Mass General.

James Chan OCT

James Chan, Clinical Research Coordinator and Data ManagerJames Chan received his BA in Math from Trinity College Dublin and his master’s in education from Northeastern University. After spending five years in education, James has returned to school and is currently completing a master’s in biostatistics from Boston University. During his undergraduate studies James focused on mathematical statistics and gained experience in computer programming. As a graduate student James now takes courses in applied statistics. As the clinical research coordinator and data manager James communicates with sites around the world and manages the data received through the registry.

Sining Hu

Sining Hu, MD, Research FellowDr. Hu is a research fellow in the Cardiology Division of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine. She came to Mass General Hospital in November 2012 from the Cardiology Department of the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in China. Dr. Hu received her MD in 2010 and became a resident in 2010. Her previous research work mainly focused on the impact of angiogenesis on the progression of atherosclerosis using OCT in animal models. Now she is working on plaque progression and regression in ACS patients and vessel response after PCI using OCT.

Haibo Jia

Haibo Jia, MD, PhD, Research FellowDr. Jia is a research fellow in the Cardiology Division of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine. He came to Mass General Hospital in March 2012 from the Cardiology Department of the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in Harbin, China. Dr. Jia received his MD in 2008 and his PhD in 2011, both from Harbin Medical University. His main research interests are investigating the relationship between circulating biomarkers and plaque vulnerability as determined by OCT, and elucidating the role of plaque erosion in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndrome using intracoronary OCT. Dr. Jia has been working with the MGH OCT Registry in Harbin since September 2010.

Dr. Hang Lee, PhD, StatisticianDr. Lee is the study statistician of the OCT Registry. He is the lead statistician of the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program at Mass General and the Mass General Clinical Research Program Biostatistics Consulting Laboratory, and he serves as the primary statistician of the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He is also the lead statistician of the NHLBI-funded ROMICAT trial (Rule Out Myocardial Ischemia/Infarction Using Computer Assisted tomography - A Randomized, Controlled, Multicenter Diagnostic Trial). Dr. Lee is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has over 10 years of experience in a wide range of Mass General and Harvard-based collaborative clinical trials and epidemiologic investigations. His statistical expertise is in the longitudinal data, statistical genetics, clinical trials design and complex data analysis, and he has authored and co-authored over 120 clinical study articles.

Yoshiyasu Minami

Yoshiyasu Minami, PhDResearch FellowDr. Minami is a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine. Dr. Minami joined OCT from Tokyo University in Japan. Dr. Minami received his MD in 2003 and his PhD in cardiovascular medicine in 2013. Dr. Minami’s main field of research is clinical research in interventional cardiology using optical coherence tomography.

Shankha Mukhopadhyay OCT

Shankha Mukhopadhyay, Research CoordinatorShankha Mukhopadhyay received his BS in Medical Technology from the University of Connecticut and his MS in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2010, after working for four years at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, he joined the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator. In December 2013, Shankha joined the Cardiovascular Research Center to work under Dr. Ik-Kyung Jang as his research coordinator and will be managing both single-center and multi-center studies.

Tsunenari Soeda

Tsunenari Soeda, PhD, Research FellowDr. Soeda is a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine. Dr. Soeda joined us from Nara Medical University in Japan where he worked as an interventional cardiologist. Dr. Soeda received his MD in 2000 and his PhD in cardiovascular medicine in 2012. Dr. Soeda’s research is focused on developing best practices for PCI using optical coherence tomography.

Jinwei Tian

Jinwei Tian, MD, PhD, Research FellowDr. Tian is a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital. He came to Mass General Hospital in Oct 2012 from the Cardiology Department of the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China. Dr. Tian received his MD and PhD in July 2012 from Harbin Medical University. He mainly focuses on investigating the traditional and novel risk factors for the plaque vulnerability and investigating the conservative therapy for patients with acute coronary syndrome caused by plaque erosion. Dr. Tian has been working with the MGH OCT Registry in Harbin since September 2010.

Rocco Vergallo

Rocco Vergallo, MD, Research FellowDr. Vergallo is a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his MD in 2011 from the Catholic University of Rome and came to Mass General in July 2012 to work with Dr. Jang on the Mass General OCT Registry. His main research interests are investigating the relationship between OCT plaque characteristics and novel circulating biomarkers, and clarifying the mechanisms of plaque vulnerability.

OCT Registry Partnering Institutions

To build the registry, we have partnered with researchers at world class academic medical centers, such as:

CountryhospitalPrincipal Investigator
Concord Repatriation General Hospital Dr. Harry Lowe
The Northern Hospital Dr. Peter Barlis
Prince Charles Hospital Dr. Owen Christopher Raffel
China Harbin Medical University, Department of Cardiology Dr. Bo Yu
China Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong University Dr. Stephen Lee
Japan Nippon Medical School Dr. Kyoichi Mizuno
Japan Iwate Medical University Dr. Tomonori Itoh
Japan Nara Medical University Dr. Shiro Uemura
Japan Tsuchiura Kyodo General Hospital Dr. Tsunekazu Kakuta
Japan Kokura Memorial Hospital Dr. Shoichi Kuramitsu
Korea Ajou University Hospital Dr. So-Yeon Choi
Korea Asan Medical Center Dr. Seung-Jung Park
Korea East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyunghee University Dr. Chang-Bum Park
Korea Kyung Hee University Hospital Dr. Soo-Joong Kim
Korea Yonsei University Dr. Yangsoo Jang
Singapore National Heart Centre Singapore Dr. Stanley Chia
USA Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. Ik-Kyung Jang
USA Mayo Clinic Dr. Amir Lerman
USA Emory University Dr. Habib Samady
USA University of Pittsburgh Dr. Catalin Toma
USA University of Vermont Dr. Harold Dauerman

Research Projects

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are leading the first optical coherence tomography (OCT) registry, with the goal of:

  • Identifying the plaque characteristics via OCT that are associated with adverse cardiac events, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack and sudden cardiac death)
  • Identifying the characteristics of stented arteries that are associated with adverse events, such as restenosis and stent thrombosis

OCT imaging creates extremely high-resolution images from within the artery and can pinpoint the microscopic characteristics of a vulnerable plaque. To define these unique characteristics, we are creating a database with more than 3,000 patients who have had OCT imaging. We will then follow these patients for up to five years and collect detailed demographic and clinical information about them.

Study Plan

Using a prospective data collection approach, we will gather information for approximately 3,000 patients in our database. Our research team and international research partners will collect detailed demographic and clinical information for each patient for whom OCT is used using electronic case report forms (eCRF).

Subject Selection

All patients in the registry will have had OCT imaging performed during cardiac catheterization.

Learn more about the OCT Registry on ClinicalTrials.gov

Subject Enrollment

To learn more about how to enroll your patient in the registry, contact:

James Chan, Data Manager
Mass General OCT Registry
Massachusetts General Hospital
Phone: 617-643-9132
Email: jchan12@partners.org

Study Procedures

We plan to follow all of the patients in our registry through phone calls or clinical visits six months after their OCT imaging, and then every year for up to five years. During this time, we will document any clinical events, which might include death, myocardial infarction, revascularization (target vessel and non-target vessel), ischemic cerebrovascular events and bleeding.

All patients’ identifiable information will be removed and a study code number will be assigned to each patient. This study number will be used in the eCRF and on the transferred images.

monthly enrollment OCT


K. Kato, “Comparison of Non-culprit Coronary Plaque Characteristics between Patients with and without Diabetes: A 3-Vessel Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (JACC Cardiovascular Interventions, 2012 Nov;5(11):1150-8)

K. Kato, “Non-Culprit Plaques in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) Have More Vulnerable Features Compared to Those with Non-ACS: A 3-Vessel Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 Jul;5(4):433-40)

T. Yonetsu, “Comparison of Incidence and Time Course of Neoatherosclerosis between Bare Metal Stents versus Drug Eluting Stents by Optical Coherence Tomography” (Am J Cardiol. 2012 Oct 1;110(7):933-9.)

T. Yonetsu, “Predictors for Neoatherosclerosis: A Retrospective Observational Study from the Optical Coherence Tomography Registry” (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 Sep 1;5(5):660-6)

SJ. Kim “In vivo comparison of lumen dimensions measured by time domain-, and frequency domain-optical coherence tomography, and intravascular ultrasound”( Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Jan 6)

SJ. Kim, “Reproducibility of In Vivo Measurements for Fibrous Cap Thickness and Lipid Arc in Lipid Plaques by Optical Coherence Tomography” (JACC Cardiovasc Imaging, 2012 Oct;5(10):1072-4)

K. Kato, “Intracoronary imaging modalities for vulnerable plaques” (J Nihon Med Sch. 2011;78 (6):340-51)

J. Tian, “Does neovascularization predict response to statin therapy? Optical coherence tomography study.” (Int J Cardiol. 2012 Jul 26;158(3):469-70)

J. Tian, “Significance of Intraplaque Neovascularisation for Vulnerability: Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (Heart. 2012 Oct; 98(20):1504-9.)

F. Abtahian, “Optical coherence tomography: basics, current application and future potential.” (Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2012 Oct;12(5):583-91)

R. Vergallo, “Evaluation of Culprit Lesions by Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction” (Int J Cardiol, 2013 Feb 13, S0167-5273(13)00081-8)

M, Zeglin-Sawczuk, “Lipid Rich Plaque, Female Gender and Proximal Coronary Stent Edge Dissections”, (Thrombus and Thrombolysis, 2013 Feb 2)

K. Kato, “Non-Culprit Coronary Plaque Characteristics of Chronic Kidney Disease”, (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging, 2013 May 1;6(3):448-56)

F. Abtahian, “Ticagrelor Immediately Prior to Stenting is Associated With Smaller Residual Thrombus Compared to Clopidogrel in Patients with Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.” (Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3; 168(3):3099-101.)

SJ. Kim “Comparison of Zotarolimus-Eluting Stent and Everolimus-Eluting Stent for Vascular Healing Response: Serial 3 and 12 Month Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (Coron Artery Dis. 2013 Aug;24(5):431-9.)

H. Jia, “In Vivo Diagnosis of Plaque Erosion and Calcified Nodule in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome by Intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography” (J Am Coll Cardiol 2013;62:1748-58.)

R. Vergallo, “Correlation Between Degree of Neointimal Hyperplasia and Incidence and Characteristics of Neoatherosclerosis as Assessed by Optical Coherence Tomography” (Am J Cardiol. 2013 Nov 1; 112(9):1315-21.)

T. Yonetsu, “Comparison of Near-infrared Spectroscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography for the Detection of Lipid” (Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 Jun 19. doi: 10.1002/ccd.25084.)

T. Yonetsu, “Optical Coherence Tomography – 15 Years in Cardiology” (Circulation J. Vol. 77 (2013) No. 8 1933-1940.)

T. Yonetsu, “Features of Coronary Plaque in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes Mellitus Assessed by 3-vessel Optical Coherence Tomography” (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Sep;6(5):665-73)

R. Vergallo, “Pancoronary Plaque Vulnerability in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and Ruptured Culprit Plaque: A Three-Vessel Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (Am Heart J 2014;167:59-67.)

S. Hu, “Plaque Erosion: In Vivo Diagnosis and Treatment Guided by Optical Coherence Tomography” (JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2013. In press)

S. Hu, “Residual Thrombus Pattern in Patients with ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction Caused by Plaque Erosion versus Plaque Rupture Following Successful Fibrinolysis: An Optical Coherence Tomography Study” (J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;():. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.025.)

J. Tian, “Distinct Morphological Features of Ruptured Culprit Plaque for Acute Coronary Events Compared to those with Silent Rupture and Thin-Cap Fibroatheroma: a Combined Optical Coherence Tomography and Intravascular Ultrasound Study” ( J Am Coll Cardiol  2013, revision)



Contact Us

Massachusetts General Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Registry

GRB8-81355 Fruit Street Boston, MA 02114

Contact James Chan, OCT Data Manager, for more information about the registry or to learn how to participate in this research initiative.

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