Vascular imaging

Manish Kalla and Julian Halcox

in Hyperlipidaemia

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199543502
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191740084 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Cardiology Library

Vascular imaging

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Atherosclerosis is a dynamic process that affects most medium and large calibre arteries, particularly the coronary and carotid arteries.

Atherosclerotic changes in the arteries develop over many decades before clinical presentation.

First cardiac events are often either myocardial infarction or death, with most acute coronary events triggered by destabilization and rupture of lipid, rich, thin capped, usually only mildly obstructive plaques.

Early identification of subclinical atherosclerosis and high-risk plaque/preclinical disease is of value in assessing a patient's future risk of developing clinical disease.

Angiography remains the gold standard investigation but visualizes only stenoses, which are a late manifestation of the atherosclerotic process.

Newer modalities such as computed tomography (CT) angiography, B mode carotid ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can identify at-risk individuals without invasive investigations.

Functional and anatomical imaging together holds great promise in for accurate identification of patients with high-risk plaque.

Chapter.  3707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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