, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 121-126

Vulnerable plaque: Definition, detection, treatment, and future implications

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Atherosclerosis continues to account for significant morbidity and mortality in most of the world. The major proportion of atherosclerosis mortality is related to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, yet there still is not an optimal method for making the diagnosis of vulnerable plaque in vivo. The search for such an undefined method, along with studies on amelioration of currently available technology, gains special significance when the association between the qualitative definition of lesions in an individual and cardiovascular risks are considered. We, therefore, start by defining the critical lesion of coronary atherosclerosis and review the advantages and potential for clinical use of various methods to detect the vulnerable plaque and comment on possible future implications in this field.