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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2004 Jan;6(1):20-6.

Noninvasive atherosclerosis imaging for predicting cardiovascular events and assessing therapeutic interventions.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Noninvasive assessment of atherosclerosis offers an opportunity to provide individual cardiovascular risk management and an opportunity to monitor the efficacy of therapy targeted toward atherosclerosis. The three imaging modalities that currently hold the most promise at the clinical and research levels are ultrasound for carotid intima-media thickness, computed tomography for coronary artery calcification, and magnetic resonance imaging for carotid and aortic plaque imaging. The following review describes the evidence that validates each technique as a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis, with an emphasis on cardiovascular events and the progression of disease. Both the particular strengths and limitations of each imaging modality are discussed.

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