Current Cardiology Reports

, 16:520 | Cite as

Recent Advances in Visualizing Vulnerable Plaque: Focus on Noninvasive Molecular Imaging

Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention (G De Backer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention


Traditional imaging methods in atherosclerosis have focused primarily on anatomic information. Imaging approaches that visualize molecular targets rather than anatomic structures may emphasize biologic aspects of atherosclerosis. Molecular imaging of atherosclerotic lesions has become a crucial experimental tool and is now emerging in the clinical arena. In this review, we briefly highlight the rationale and fundamental principles of molecular imaging. We then discuss the promising imaging modalities, along with their potential limitations, and the molecular targets being investigated in experimental research. Finally, we summarize the most important clinical studies recently performed in humans.


Atherosclerosis Vulnerable plaque Molecular imaging Nuclear molecular imaging CT MRI 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centrum voor Hart- en Vaatziekten (CHVZ)UZ BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Laboratory (ICMI), Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyVrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium

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