Multimodality intravascular imaging of high-risk coronary plaque

Jiawen Li, Nicholas J Montarello, Ayla Hoogendoorn, Johan W Verjans, Christina A Bursill, Karlheinz Peter, Stephen J Nicholls, Robert A McLaughlin, Peter J Psaltis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of coronary atherothrombotic events presenting as myocardial infarction (MI) occur as a result of plaque rupture or erosion. Understanding the evolution from a stable plaque into a life-threatening, high-risk plaque is required for advancing clinical approaches to predict atherothrombotic events, and better treat coronary atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, none of the coronary imaging approaches used in clinical practice can reliably predict which plaques will cause an MI. Currently used imaging techniques mostly identify morphological features of plaques, but are not capable of detecting essential molecular characteristics known to be important drivers of future risk. To address this challenge, engineers, scientists, and clinicians have been working hand-in-hand to advance a variety of multimodality intravascular imaging techniques, whereby 2 or more complementary modalities are integrated into the same imaging catheter. Some of these have already been tested in early clinical studies, with other next-generation techniques also in development. This review examines these emerging hybrid intracoronary imaging techniques and discusses their strengths, limitations, and potential for clinical translation from both an engineering and clinical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145
Number of pages159
JournalJACC. Cardiovascular imaging
Issue number1
Early online date12 May 2021
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2022

Cite this