The identification of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries is emerging as an important tool for guiding atherosclerosis diagnosis and interventions. Assessment of plaque vulnerability requires knowledge of both the structure and composition of the plaque. Intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) imaging is able to show the morphology and composition of atherosclerotic plaque. With imminent improvements in IVPA imaging, it is becoming possible to assess human coronary artery disease in vivo. Although some challenges remain, IVPA imaging is on its way to being a powerful tool for visualising coronary atherosclerotic features that have been specifically associated with plaque vulnerability and clinical syndromes, and thus such imaging might become valuable for clinical risk assessment in the catheterisation laboratory.

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Interventional Cardiology (London)
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Wu, M., van der Steen, T., Regar, E., & van Soest, G. (2016). Intravascular photoacoustic imaging of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque. Interventional Cardiology (London), 11(2), 120–123. doi:10.15420/icr.2016:13:3