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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2009 Jul;11(4):252-7.

New noninvasive imaging technologies in coronary artery disease.

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The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Coronary artery disease affects a large population. Recent emphasis on primary and secondary prevention has made an impact on the detection of atherosclerosis, yet the incidence of acute coronary syndromes continues to increase. This has steered the cardiology community toward improving and developing new imaging techniques that are capable of detecting disease at a very early preclinical state. Coronary CT angiography is capable of characterizing plaques and detecting eccentric lesions that would not appear on stress testing or cardiac catheterization. Cardiac MRI provides high-resolution imaging of plaques in addition to tissue characterization without the ionizing radiation associated with other imaging techniques. Positron emission tomography is a rapidly growing imaging tool that detects inflammation associated with coronary atherosclerosis. In the near future, these new noninvasive modalities will play an intricate part in primary prevention and in diagnosis and treatment follow-up.

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