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Imaging Of Atherosclerosis

D.R.J. Owen, A.C. Lindsay, R.P. Choudhury, Z.A. Fayad

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It is now well recognized that the atherosclerotic plaques responsible for thrombus formation are not necessarily those that impinge most on the lumen of the vessel. Nevertheless, clinical investigations for atherosclerosis still focus on quantifying the degree of stenosis caused by plaques. Many of the features associated with a high-risk plaque, including a thin fibrous cap, large necrotic core, macrophage infiltration, neovascularization, and intraplaque hemorrhage, can now be probed by novel imaging techniques. Each technique has its own strengths and drawbacks. In this article, we review the various imaging modalities used for the evaluation and quantification of atherosclerosis.