Author + information
- Takafumi Hiro, MD, PhD∗ (, )
- Tadateru Takayama, MD, PhD,
- Hironori Haruta, MD, PhD,
- Masayuki Mitsumori, PhD,
- Kimio Tanaka, PhD,
- Junichi Kawanabe, PhD,
- Sumihare Noji, PhD and
- Atsushi Hirayama, MD, PhD
- ↵∗Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan
Pathology studies of atherosclerosis have contributed much to our understanding, but they are based mainly on cross-sectional views of the postmortem artery samples. Atherosclerosis is, however, a dynamic 3-dimensional (3D) pathological process and 3D imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound or optical coherence tomography are in vogue. However, these techniques still have limitations in defining histological structure of the plaque, and advances in histology techniques might enhance the contribution of pathological studies.
Mitsumori et al. (1), have developed a technique called “film tomography” to prepare tissue sections with an adhesive film. An automatic microtome can consecutively cut the paraffin-embedded tissue blocks into 6-μm-thick sections (approximately 1,600 slides from a 1-cm long tissue sample) and then put the sections on a long film roll in a row. The sections-on-film are automatically placed in a plastic frame that can be processed with usual pathological or immunohistochemical stains.
This is the first report of applying this technique to 3D assessment of atherosclerosis of postmortem human coronary arteries. Consecutive slides could be reconstructed as a longitudinal section, an exterior imaging of the whole vessel body, a translucent whole vessel imaging for depiction of tissue distribution, a walk-through or fly-through movie, or color enhancement processing for identifying specific tissue within the stained vessel. These 3D images can be moved, rotated, shifted, or cross sectionally sliced arbitrarily on the computer. Representative static images of the coronary artery with use of this technology are shown in Figure 1. These capabilities of the 3D film tomography would give a new insight into atherosclerosis and could provide a new comparative standard for intravascular imaging with a 3D reconstruction.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation