Vulnerable plaque: definition, diagnosis, and treatment

Cardiol Clin. 2010 Feb;28(1):1-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ccl.2009.09.008.


This article provides a systematic approach to vulnerable plaques. It is divided into 4 sections. The first section is devoted to definition, incidence, anatomic distribution, and clinical presentation. The second section is devoted to plaque composition, setting up the foundations to understand plaque vulnerability. The third section relates to invasive plaque imaging. The fourth section is devoted to therapy, from conservative pharmacologic options to aggressive percutaneous coronary intervention alternatives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty
  • Angioscopy
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy*
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Coronary Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Thrombosis / pathology
  • Coronary Thrombosis / therapy*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Stents