Atherosclerosis imaging on the molecular level

Frank M. Bengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On the basis of clinical observations that acute coronary events often result from rupture of atherosclerotic plaques at sites with no or minor luminal narrowing, the search for techniques by which to identify vulnerable, rupture-prone lesions has developed into a quest for the holy grail of cardiovascular medicine. Vulnerable plaques may show characteristic morphologic features, but they may still differ in their biology and their activity, which ultimately leads to rupture. As a consequence, considerable efforts have been undertaken to identify biologic mechanisms of atherosclerotic lesions by use of molecular-targeted radiolabeled probes. A variety of approaches aiming at plaque inflammation, apoptosis, smooth muscle cell proliferation, extracellular matrix activation, or platelet binding have been introduced. Nevertheless, molecular imaging of atherosclerosis is still a work in progress. Challenges related to the best targeting approach, to translation of animal model results to the clinical setting, to adequate imaging methodology for visualization of coronary artery biology, and to a suitable target patient population will need to be overcome. But the field is steadily moving ahead and getting closer to the ultimate goal of an improved clinical risk assessment through in vivo assessment of vascular biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Fingerprint

Molecular Imaging
Rupture
Atherosclerosis
Health Services Needs and Demand
Platelet Activation
Atherosclerotic Plaques
Smooth Muscle Myocytes
Extracellular Matrix
Blood Vessels
Coronary Vessels
Animal Models
Cell Proliferation
Medicine
Apoptosis
Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Atherosclerosis imaging on the molecular level. / Bengel, Frank M.

In: Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 111-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bengel, Frank M. / Atherosclerosis imaging on the molecular level. In: Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. 2006 ; Vol. 13, No. 1. pp. 111-118.
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