Techniques for evaluating the effects of atherosclerosis on the circulatory system in the living subject have evolved rapidly and in parallel with improved modes of medical and surgical therapy. In addition to means for assessing altered flows and pressure gradients, and reductions in tissue perfusion at various sites, methods have been developed for visualizing and characterizing the arterial deformations generally responsible for these dysfunctions. As methods for lesion characterization in the living subject improve and enter into wider use, it becomes increasingly evident that we must seek more detailed and precise correlations between the disease process as it appears on gross and microscopic examination of vessel samples and the images and numerical data produced by each of the available clinical modes of lesion detection. There are several compelling reasons for this. First, it is self-evident that controversies regarding the relative accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of each of the detection methods can ultimately be resolved only by quantitative comparisons of the images with the actual, corresponding lesions. Secondly, we have entered an era in which we wish to follow the disease process sequentially in each of the major arterial beds in order to assess the effects of preventive and therapeutic measures on the progression, retardation, arrest, or reversal of specific lesions and of the generalized disease.
KeywordsAtherosclerotic Lesion Luminal Surface Artery Wall Transverse Cross Section Lumen Area
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