Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2007;60:299-309 - Vol. 60 Num.03 DOI: 10.1016/S1885-5857(07)60154-6

Novel Imaging Techniques for Quantifying Overall Atherosclerotic Burden

Borja Ibáñez a, Antonio Pinero b, Miguel Orejas c, Juan J Badimón a

a The Zena and Michael A, Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Nueva York, Estados Unidos,
b The Zena and Michael A, Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Nueva York, Estados Unidos, Fundación Jiménez Díaz-Capio, Madrid, España,
c Fundación Jiménez Díaz-Capio, Madrid, España,

Keywords

Atherosclerosis. Atherothrombosis. Imaging techniques. Cardiac magnetic resonance. Computed axial tomography.

Abstract

Atherothrombosis (i.e., atherosclerosis and its thrombotic complications) is a systemic disease with local manifestations. Basic understanding of the pathological processes involved in the development and progression of the disease makes it possible to adopt a general approach to early diagnosis with a view to timely treatment. Knowledge of an individual's overall atherosclerotic burden is extremely important, as it enables risk factors to be treated more aggressively. Non-invasive imaging provides a means of quantifying atherosclerotic burden in accessible areas such as the carotid arteries and the aorta. There is some evidence that there is a correlation between atherosclerotic burden in these areas and that in other less accessible areas, such as the coronary arteries. It may be possible, therefore, to obtain an estimate of overall atherosclerotic burden using non-invasive techniques. Novel imaging modalities, such as multidetector computed axial tomography, enable the coronary artery tree to be explored non-invasively, with highly promising results for both diagnosis and screening in high-risk patients. Molecular imaging techniques enable not only the anatomy but also the function of specific tissues and anatomical territories to be studied non-invasively. These new techniques provide highly promising tools for an early diagnosis in high-risk locations.

1885-5857/© 2007 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved

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