LRPs, which are implicated in most heart attacks, will be identified in study participants using the Infraredx TVC Imaging System, a first-in-class dual modality intravascular imaging catheter.

MedStar Heart Institute is one of the 100 clinical sites worldwide to participate in the trial.

Infraredx co-founder and chief medical officer Dr James Muller noted the company is pleased to announce the start of enrollment for this major international study testing the ability of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to detect the cholesterol-rich plaques suspected of causing heart attacks.

"The decision to undertake this important study was based on a wealth of data stemming from decades of research and development by a dedicated team of more than 100 engineers and clinical scientists. Once completed, the LRP Study could redefine the role of intravascular imaging and lay the groundwork for changing standard protocol for managing coronary artery disease," Dr Muller added.

The TVC Imaging System integrates NIRS to detect lipid-core plaques, and enhanced intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) to visualize the vessel structure, including the presence of plaques and the degree of stenosis (narrowing).

The system identifies plaques suspected to be vulnerable to rupture, which can cause a fatal coronary blockage. Current methods of diagnosing coronary artery disease are limited in their ability to detect such plaques.