Marc Sirol, Valentin Fuster and Zahi A. Fayad Pages 541 - 548 ( 8 )
Identification of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions prone to rupture and thrombosis may greatly decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with atherosclerosis. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has recently emerged as one of the most promising techniques for the noninvasive study of atherothrombotic disease, as it can characterize plaque composition and monitor its progression. The development of MRI contrast agents that specifically target components of the atherosclerotic plaque may enable non-invasive detection of high-risk lesions. This review discusses the use of high-resolution MRI for plaque detection and characterization and the potentials of Molecular Imaging using a variety of molecules present in atherosclerotic plaques that may serve as targets for specific contrast agents to allow the identification of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions invivo. Ultimately, such agents may enable treatment of high-risk patients prior to lesion progression and occurrence of complications.
Atherosclerosis, magnetic resonance imaging, coronary artery disease
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Cardiovascular Institute Box 1030, New York, NY 10029, USA.