The goal of coronary plaque burden assessment is to detect vulnerable or high-risk atherosclerotic plaques that are prone to rupture and to stabilize them through pharmacologic and other types of interventions before the development of acute coronary syndrome. In this regard, a reliable, reproducible, and less invasive imaging modality capable of identifying plaque characteristics associated with plaque vulnerability would be immensely useful for evaluating plaque status and predicting future cardiovascular events. Recently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as a novel modality for atherosclerotic plaque detection and characterization. This review will cover the developments in MRI for characterizing atherosclerosis in carotid and coronary arteries and its use in clinical diagnoses and longitudinal studies to understand the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis.
- Coronary artery
- Magnetic resonance