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Atherosclerosis is a chronic immunomodulated disease that affects multiple vascular beds and results in a significant worldwide disease burden. Conventional imaging modalities focus on the morphological features of atherosclerotic disease such as the degree of stenosis caused by a lesion. Modern CT, MR and positron emission tomography scanners have seen significant improvements in the rapidity of image acquisition and spatial resolution. This has increased the scope for the clinical application of these modalities. Multimodality imaging can improve cardiovascular risk prediction by informing on the constituency and metabolic processes within the vessel wall. Specific disease processes can be targeted using novel biological tracers and "smart" contrast agents. These approaches have the potential to inform clinicians of the metabolic state of atherosclerotic plaque. This review will provide an overview of current imaging techniques for the imaging of atherosclerosis and how various modalities can provide information that enhances the depiction of basic morphology.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j radiol

Publication Date





Aortic Diseases, Atherosclerosis, Carotid Artery Diseases, Contrast Media, Coronary Disease, Diagnostic Imaging, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Magnetite Nanoparticles, Molecular Imaging, Spectrophotometry, Infrared, Tomography, Optical Coherence, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Ultrasonography, Interventional, Vascular Calcification