Cardiac motion artifacts, non-uniform rotational distortion and undersampling affect the image quality and the diagnostic impact of intravascular optical coherence tomography (IV-OCT). In this study we demonstrate how these limitations of IV-OCT can be addressed by using an imaging system that we called “Heartbeat OCT”, combining a fast Fourier Domain Mode Locked laser, fast pullback, and a micromotor actuated catheter, designed to examine a coronary vessel in less than one cardiac cycle. We acquired in vivo data sets of two coronary arteries in a porcine heart with both Heartbeat OCT, working at 2.88 MHz A-line rate, 4000 frames/s and 100 mm/s pullback speed, and with a commercial system. The in vivo results show that Heartbeat OCT provides faithfully rendered, motion-artifact free, fully sampled vessel wall architecture, unlike the conventional IV-OCT data. We present the Heartbeat OCT system in full technical detail and discuss the steps needed for clinical translation of the technology.