Sudden cardiac death and acute myocardial infarction often occur as the first manifestation of coronary artery disease. Otherwise asymptomatic individuals with subclinical atherosclerosis almost always have a classic risk-factor profile and it is essential that they are identified before the occurrence of an acute coronary event. The ability to recognize such individuals requires the development of strategies that can localize unstable atherosclerotic lesions. Plaques that are vulnerable to rupture demonstrate distinct histological characteristics, including large plaque and necrotic core volumes, extensive remodeling of the vessel at the lesion site, and attenuated fibrous caps. Precise metrics of typical vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque dimensions will need to be defined to facilitate their identification by noninvasive imaging modalities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine