Noninvasive Atherosclerotic Phenotyping: The Next Frontier into Understanding the Pathobiology of Coronary Artery Disease

Rafal Wolny, Jolien Geers, Kajetan Grodecki, Jacek Kwiecinski, Michelle C. Williams, Piotr J. Slomka, Selma Hasific, Andrew K. Lin, Damini Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose of Review Despite recent advances, coronary artery disease remains one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Noninvasive imaging allows atherosclerotic phenotyping by measurement of plaque burden, morphology, activity and inflammation, which has the potential to refine patient risk stratification and guide personalized therapy. This review describes the current and emerging roles of advanced noninvasive cardiovascular imaging methods for the assessment of coronary artery disease.
Recent Findings
Cardiac computed tomography enables comprehensive, noninvasive imaging of the coronary vasculature, and is used to assess luminal stenoses, coronary calcifications, and distinct adverse plaque characteristics, helping to identify patients prone to future events. Novel software tools, implementing artificial intelligence solutions, can automatically quantify and characterize atherosclerotic plaque from standard computed tomography datasets. These quantitative imaging biomarkers have been shown to improve patient risk stratification beyond clinical risk scores and current clinical interpretation of cardiac computed tomography. In addition, noninvasive molecular imaging in higher risk patients can be used to assess plaque activity and plaque thrombosis.
Noninvasive imaging allows unique insight into the burden, morphology and activity of atherosclerotic coronary plaques. Such phenotyping of atherosclerosis can potentially improve individual patient risk prediction, and in the near future has the potential for clinical implementation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2024


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