Numerous biomarkers and imaging modalities were investigated during the past few decades to identify patients harboring plaques at high risk of rupturing and causing catastrophic events. The classical description of a vulnerable plaque included a large lipid core, covered by a thin fibrous cap and evidence of inflammation especially around the hinge points of the plaque. Unfortunately, the search has resulted to a large extent in a failure to accurately identify the site of a future event. In time the search focus switched to the vulnerable patient rather than the individual vulnerable plaques, but the debate continues as to the more appropriate approach to risk assessment. This review discusses the most recent developments in molecular, anatomical and functional imaging directed at identifying a patient at high-risk of coronary artery disease events.
- Journal Article