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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 410967, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/410967
Review Article

Imaging Modalities to Identity Inflammation in an Atherosclerotic Plaque

1Department of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11219, USA
2Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
3Department of Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
4Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Centre, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA
5Department of Cardiology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11219, USA

Received 2 September 2015; Accepted 19 November 2015

Academic Editor: Paul Sijens

Copyright © 2015 Sunny Goel et al. 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.

Abstract

Atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive, multifocal arterial wall disease caused by local and systemic inflammation responsible for major cardiovascular complications such as myocardial infarction and stroke. With the recent understanding that vulnerable plaque erosion and rupture, with subsequent thrombosis, rather than luminal stenosis, is the underlying cause of acute ischemic events, there has been a shift of focus to understand the mechanisms that make an atherosclerotic plaque unstable or vulnerable to rupture. The presence of inflammation in the atherosclerotic plaque has been considered as one of the initial events which convert a stable plaque into an unstable and vulnerable plaque. This paper systemically reviews the noninvasive and invasive imaging modalities that are currently available to detect this inflammatory process, at least in the intermediate stages, and discusses the ongoing studies that will help us to better understand and identify it at the molecular level.