Document Detail

Coronary artery imaging in the new millennium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16352064     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Atherosclerotic disease and its thrombotic complications remain the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Western society. In Australia, cardiovascular disease is responsible for one in every 2.4 (41%) deaths and is the leading single cause of mortality. The crucial final common process for the conversion of a non-occlusive, often clinically silent, atherosclerotic lesion to a potentially fatal condition is plaque disruption. The mortality associated with atherosclerotic disease relates to the acute coronary syndromes, including acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris and sudden cardiac death. There is substantial clinical, experimental and postmortem evidence demonstrating the role acute thrombosis upon a disrupted atherosclerotic plaque plays in the onset of acute coronary syndromes. Atherosclerotic plaque composition, rather than the stenotic severity, appears to be central in determining risk of both plaque rupture and subsequent thrombogenicity. In particular, a large lipid core and a thin fibrous cap render an atherosclerotic lesion susceptible or vulnerable to these complications. We are currently limited in our ability to accurately identify patients at risk for an acute coronary event. The armamentarium of diagnostic investigations, both non-invasive and invasive, currently clinically available is only able to provide us with data related to the stenotic severity of a coronary artery. The non-invasive testing includes stress-induced (exercise or pharmacological) ischaemic changes in electrical repolarisation, wall motion or myocardial radioactive-tracer uptake. The invasive test of coronary angiography, although the current 'gold standard' for the detection of coronary atherosclerotic disease, provides us with no data about the composition of the atherosclerotic lesion. However, the vast majority of acute coronary events involve a non-critically stenosed atherosclerotic lesion, and thus with currently available means of identification, these lesions would be undetected by stress testing/imaging techniques. Given the critical role that atherosclerotic lesion composition has been shown to play in the risk of both plaque rupture and subsequent thrombogenicity and, consequently, an acute coronary event, new detection techniques need to be investigated for the task of documenting atherosclerotic lesion composition. In the present review we will focus on the status of imaging modalities available for coronary artery imaging and how they may advance our understanding and management of patients with and at risk of coronary artery disease in the new millennium.
Stephen G Worthley; H M Omar Farouque; Gérard Helft; Ian T Meredith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Heart, lung & circulation     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1443-9506     ISO Abbreviation:  Heart Lung Circ     Publication Date:  2002  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-12-14     Completed Date:  2006-01-10     Revised Date:  2008-07-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100963739     Medline TA:  Heart Lung Circ     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  19-25     Citation Subset:  -    
Cardiovascular Research Centre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
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