New Imaging Techniques for Atherosclerotic Plaque Characterization
Curr Radiol Rep (2017) 5:55 DOI 10.1007/s40134-017-0252-6 Francesco Lavra 1,2 • Carlo N. De Cecco 1 • Akos Varga-Szemes 1 • Domenico De Santis 1,3 • Moritz H. Albrecht 1,4 • Virginia W. Lesslie 1 • Marly van Assen 1,5 • Philipp von Knebel Doeberitz 1 • Domenico Mastrodicasa 1,6 • Marwen Eid 1 • Georg Apfaltrer 1,7 • Seth Stalcup 8 • Richard R. Bayer 1,9 • Luca Saba 2 • U. Joseph Schoepf 1
Purpose: Previously, the imaging of atherosclerotic plaque has been limited to the assessment of vessel stenosis and occlusion. However, recent technological advances have allowed for more detailed plaque characterization. This article will address recent advancements in plaque char- acterization using both invasive and noninvasive tech- niques, as well as potential improvements in patient evaluation and targeted therapies.
Recent Findings: Recent findings have demonstrated that plaque composition affects plaque vulnerability, or the propensity of a plaque to rupture and cause acute thrombus formation with potentially life-threatening downstream implications.
Summary: Newly introduced invasive and noninvasive techniques allow for a comprehensive assessment of atherosclerotic plaque to classify high-risk patients requiring more intensive therapy.