The goal of this article is to illustrate the main invasive and noninvasive diagnostic modalities to image the vulnerable coronary plaque, which is responsible for acute coronary syndrome. The main epidemiologic and histological issues are briefly discussed in order to provide an adequate background. Comprehensive coronary atherosclerosis imaging should involve visualization of the entire coronary artery tree and plaque characterization, including three-dimensional morphology, relationship with the lumen, composition, vascular remodelling and presence of inflammation. No single technique provides such a comprehensive description, and no available modality extensively identifies the vulnerable plaque. In particular, we describe multislice computed tomography, which at present seems to be the most promising noninvasive tool for an exhaustive image-based quantification of coronary atherosclerosis.

CT, Coronary artery disease, Imaging, Multislice computed tomography, Vulnerable plaque,
La Radiologia Medica
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Cademartiri, F, la Grutta, L, Palumbo, A, Maffei, E, Aldrovandi, A, Malagó, R, … Krestin, G.P. (2007). Imaging techniques for the vulnerable coronary plaque. La Radiologia Medica (Vol. 112, pp. 637–659). doi:10.1007/s11547-007-0170-4