Non-invasive and invasive imaging of vulnerable coronary plaque

Csilla Celeng, Richard A.P. Takx, Maros Ferencik, Pál Maurovich-Horvat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Vulnerable plaque is characterized by a large necrotic core and an overlying thin fibrous cap. Non-invasive imaging modalities such as computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allow for the assessment of morphological plaque characteristics, while positron emission tomography (PET) enables the detection of metabolic activity within the atherosclerotic lesions. Invasive imaging modalities such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), optical-coherence tomography (OCT), and intravascular MRI (IV-MRI) display plaques at a high spatial resolution. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) allows for the detection of chemical components of atherosclerotic plaques. In this review, we describe state-of-the-art non-invasive and invasive imaging modalities and stress the combination of their advantages to identify vulnerable plaque features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-547
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Coronary artery disease
  • Necrotic core
  • Thin-cap fibroatheroma
  • Vulnerable plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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