, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 55-61

Visualising noncalcified coronary plaques by CT

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Due to a rapid improvement of the new generation submillimetre multislice CT-technology noninvasive tomographic imaging of the coronary vessel wall has become reality. First clinical studies have shown the ability in particular of 16-slice CT to determine plaque burden, plaque composition and compensatory vessel-wall remodelling. These novel findings already constitute an important step forward to assess coronary atherosclerosis noninvasively in a detailed manner which opens promising new opportunities for a better understanding and riskstratification of coronary atherosclerosis. Current limitations, mainly the insufficient accuracy to detect small lesions in distal coronary segments, might be overcome by improved spatial and temporal resolution of the new generation scanners operating with 64 and more detectors.