Insight from imaging on plaque vulnerability: similarities and differences between coronary and carotid arteries—implications for systemic therapies

Filippo Cademartiri, Antonella Balestrieri, Riccardo Cau, Bruna Punzo, Carlo Cavaliere, Erica Maffei, Luca Saba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Nowadays it is widely accepted that the rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque in coronary and carotid arteries plays a fundamental role in the development of acute myocardial infarctions or cerebrovascular events. In recent years, imaging techniques have explored, with a new level of detail, the atherosclerotic disease generating new evidences that some plaque characteristics are significantly associated to the risk of rupture and subsequent thrombosis or embolization. Moreover, the recent evidence of the anti-atherosclerotic effects determined by lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory therapies poses a challenge for the choice of therapeutic approaches (best/optimal medical therapy vs. revascularization), maximized by the evidence that coronary and carotid atherosclerosis share common patterns but also differ regarding some important features. In this Review, we discuss the similarities and differences between coronary and carotid artery vulnerable plaque from the imaging point of view and the potential implications for systemic therapies according to the emerging evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1150-1162
Number of pages13
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Coronary artery
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance (MR)
  • Molecular
  • Plaque
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Radiomics
  • Therapy
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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