Background and Objectives Virtual histology-intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) studies on early-stage fibroatheroma, the probable precursor lesion of progression to thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA), have only rarely been done in man. the necrotic core increased. Conclusion Of NSCD cases in Korea, 27% were early fibroatheromas, 53% were late fibroatheromas, 9% were TkCFA, and 11% were TCFA. Advance-staged fibroatheromas show more necrotic core volume and more dense calcium than small, early-stage fibroatheromas. Keywords: Atherosclerosis, Ultrasonography, interventional, Coronary vessels Introduction Studies of atheromatous plaques based on histopathologic analysis are frequently performed at autopsy following sudden cardiac death (SCD).1-3) With advances in medical technology, the progression of atheromatous plaque has recently been evaluated based on a serologic examination of biomarkers.4-6) Various imaging modalities have also been used in clinical practice.7-11) Based on clinical usefulness, the imaging modalities most frequently used are intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) or virtual histology-IVUS (VH-IVUS) along with coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention. Through these modalities, the rupture and erosion of atheromatous plaque, the cause of thrombosis within the coronary artery, can be confirmed. Furthermore, vulnerable plaque, which can obstruct the coronary artery, can be detected as early as possible. Thus, these modalities help the treatment strategy to be determined.9) Of the previous studies which have been conducted using IVUS or VH-IVUS, however, there are few about the early stage of atheromatous plaques. In addition, the definition of atheromatous plaque remains unclear. Also, studies HCAP which P005672 HCl supplier have been conducted using histopathologic analysis are also rare in the literature. In recent years, VH-IVUS, which can go beyond the scope of the gray scale IVUS, and which can definitively evaluate the composition of atheromatous plaque, has been used in the clinical setting. However, results of its use have been reported for patients with stable angina or acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and those who had risk factors or angina symptoms. To date, there have not been a great number of studies conducted to examine the progression of atheromatous plaque using VH-IVUS in a general population. It is commonly encountered in the clinical setting in Korea that the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases has been continually increasing with the westernization of life style. However, where doing autopsies has not been universalized, there is still insufficient objective data about atheromatous plaque in Koreans whose ethnic characteristics are considered different from Caucasians. Given the above, we performed VH-IVUS in Korean that were not due to sudden cardiac death (NSCD) cases of various ages and examined the distribution pattern and frequency of atheromatous plaque at various growth stages. We also compared the composition of atheromatous plaque at both early and advanced stages using VH-IVUS and then attempted to histopathologically demonstrate confirm our results. Subjects and Methods Definitions of atheromatous plaques Early fibroatheroma was diagnosed if the amount of plaque accounted for >40% of the vessel lumen, the area of necrotic core was <0.1 mm2, and the amount of necrotic core was >10%. Late fibroatheroma was diagnosed if the amount of plaque accounted for >40% of the vessel lumen, the area of necrotic core ranged from 0.1-1.0 mm2, and the amount of necrotic core was >10%.12),13) Cases in which the amount of plaque accounted for >40% seen on VH-IVUS, the amount of necrotic core was >10% and there were more than three consecutive necrotic cores attached to the vascular P005672 HCl supplier lumen, were identified as a thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA). Similar to TCFA, in cases in which the amount of plaque was >40%, and the amount of necrotic core was >10%, P005672 HCl supplier but there was a fibrous cap extending from the vascular lumen to a necrotic core, and the necrotic core was not attached to but remote from the vascular lumen, we identified the lesion as thick-cap fibroatheroma (TkCFA).13) TCFA and TkCFA, defined herein, were considered advance-staged fibroatheromas and were compared with early or late fibroatheroma. Subjects Our study was.