Noninvasive Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque Imaging

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2023 Dec;16(12):1608-1622. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2023.08.021.


Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite remarkable advances in the management of coronary artery disease, the prediction of adverse coronary events remains challenging. Over the preceding decades, considerable effort has been made to improve risk stratification using noninvasive imaging. Recently, these efforts have increasingly focused on the direct imaging of coronary atherosclerotic plaque. Modern imaging now allows imaging of coronary plaque burden, plaque type, atherosclerotic plaque activity, and plaque thrombosis, which have major potential to refine patient risk stratification, aid decision making, and advance future clinical practice.

Keywords: (18)F-sodium fluoride PET-CT; CCTA; PCAT; atherosclerosis; coronary computed tomography angiography; microcalcification; pericoronary adipose tissue attenuation; plaque burden; vulnerable plaque.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Computed Tomography Angiography / methods
  • Coronary Angiography / methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / therapy
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic*
  • Predictive Value of Tests