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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 134564, 13 pages
Review Article

Impact of Medical Therapy on Atheroma Volume Measured by Different Cardiovascular Imaging Modalities

Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Received 22 March 2010; Accepted 25 May 2010

Academic Editor: Chim Choy Lang

Copyright © 2010 Mohamad C. N. Sinno and Mouaz Al-Mallah. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease that affects most vascular beds. The gold standard of atherosclerosis imaging has been invasive intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). Newer noninvasive imaging modalities like B-mode ultrasound, cardiac computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been used to assess these vascular territories with high accuracy and reproducibility. These imaging modalities have lately been used for the assessment of the atherosclerotic plaque and the response of its volume to several medical therapies used in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. To study the impact of these medications on atheroma volume progression or regression, imaging modalities have been used on a serial basis providing a unique opportunity to monitor the effect these antiatherosclerotic strategies exert on plaque burden. As a result, studies incorporating serial IVUS imaging, quantitative coronary angiography (QCA), B-mode ultrasound, electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging have all been used to evaluate the impact of therapeutic strategies that modify cholesterol and blood pressure on the progression/regression of atherosclerotic plaque. In this review, we intend to summarize the impact of different therapies aimed at halting the progression or even result in regression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease evaluated by different imaging modalities.