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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2011 June;59(3):255-70

language: English

Clinical applicability of coronary atherosclerotic lesion characterization

Kaluski E., Waller A., Patel A., Gerula C., Maher J., Haider B., Klapholz M.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University Hospital and New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA


Native coronary atherosclerosis (CAS) is a diffuse and progressive disease process that is occasionally associated with either clinical atherothrombosis and/or major adverse cardiac events (MACE) including: ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), acute coronary syndromes without ST elevation (ACSWSTE), heart failure, cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death. Both, the timing and coronary site responsible for the MACE are currently unpredictable. Cardiovascular investigators have engaged in the task of characterizing CAS lesions in order to enhance our knowledge of CAS pathophysiology. It was expected that the knowledge acquired will allow scientists and clinicians to develop effective strategies to detect and treat “vulnerable plaque” (VP) prior to the evolution of MACE. This review discusses the emerging data regarding the pathology and natural history of the VP and vulnerable patient and the progress made in characterizing atherosclerotic plaque instability and vulnerability. Future directions in the field of plaque characterization and their potential clinical and research applications are discussed.

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