In vivo imaging of vulnerable plaque with intravascular modalities: its advantages and limitations

Satoshi Kitahara, Yu Kataoka, Hiroki Sugane, Fumiyuki Otsuka, Yasuhide Asaumi, Teruo Noguchi, Satoshi Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In vivo imaging of plaque instability has been considered to have a great potential to predict future coronary events and evaluate the stabilization effect of novel anti-atherosclerotic medical therapies. Currently, there are several intravascular imaging modalities which enable to visualize plaque components associated with its vulnerability. These include virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS), integrated backscatter IVUS (IB-IVUS), optical coherence tomography (OCT), near-infrared spectroscopy and coronary angioscopy. Recent studies have shown that these tools are applicable for risk stratification of cardiovascular events as well as drug efficacy assessment. However, several limitation exists in each modality. The current review paper will outline advantages and limitation of VH-IVUS, IB-IVUS, OCT, NIRS and coronary angioscopy imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1479
Number of pages19
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • Integrated backscatter intravascular ultrasound (IB-IVUS), coronary angioscopy
  • Intravascular imaging
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Virtual-histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS)
  • Vulnerable plaque


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