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Inflammation has a central role in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Recent developments in cardiovascular imaging with the advent of hybrid positron emission tomography have provided a window into the molecular pathophysiology underlying coronary plaque inflammation. Using novel radiotracers targeted at specific cellular pathways, the potential exists to observe inflammation, apoptosis, cellular hypoxia, microcalcification and angiogenesis in vivo. Several clinical studies are now underway assessing the ability of this hybrid imaging modality to inform about atherosclerotic disease activity and the prediction of future cardiovascular risk. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing coronary atherosclerosis may be the first step toward offering patients a more stratified, personalized approach to treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Future cardiol

Publication Date





483 - 496


atherosclerosis, cardiac imaging, personalized medicine, Atherosclerosis, Coronary Artery Disease, Humans, Positron-Emission Tomography, Risk Factors