Near Infrared Diffuse Spectroscopy Laser Targets CAD


September 4, 2008

The FDA has approved the LipiScan Coronary Imaging System, an angiography laser scanner by InfraReDx Inc., which is intended to characterize fatty deposits in coronary vessel walls using near infrared diffuse spectroscopy.

Near-infrared (NIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is a highly developed technique that is commonly used in fields such as chemistry and pharmaceutical development to identify the chemical composition of substances. The identification of the chemicals present is based on the differential absorption of light in the NIR spectrum by different molecules. An important feature of near-infrared light is that it can penetrate tissue and can therefore identify a tissue despite the presence of blood between the detector and the target. This is an important advantage for imaging within the human coronary artery.

The InfraReDx system consists of a laser light source, an automated pullback and rotation device and a small fiberoptic catheter. While the catheter is similar in size and ease of use to an intravascular ultrasound catheter, the information it provides is quite different since it is based on an optical rather that an ultrasonic signal.