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THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING

A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging


A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2016 September;60(3):205-18

language: English

Imaging unstable plaque

Rouchelle S. SRIRANJAN 1, Jason M. TARKIN 1, Nicholas R. EVANS 2, Mohammed M. CHOWDHURY 3, James H. RUDD 1

1 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, England, UK; 2 Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, England, UK; 3 Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, England, UK


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Recent advances in imaging technology have enabled us to utilise a range of diagnostic approaches to better characterise high-risk atherosclerotic plaque. The aim of this article is to review current and emerging techniques used to detect and quantify unstable plaque in the context of large and small arterial systems and will focus on both invasive and non-invasive imaging techniques. While the diagnosis of clinically relevant atherosclerosis still relies heavily on anatomical assessment of arterial luminal stenosis, evolving multimodal cross-sectional imaging techniques that encompass novel molecular probes can provide added information with regard to plaque composition and overall disease burden. Novel molecular probes currently being developed to track precursors of plaque rupture such as inflammation, micro-calcification, hypoxia and neoangiogenesis are likely to have translational applications beyond diagnostics and have the potential to play a part in quantifying early responses to therapeutic interventions and more accurate cardiovascular risk stratification.

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jhfr2@cam.ac.uk