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Imaging of intraplaque haemorrhage

Prati, Francescoa,b; Di Vito, Lucab

doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e328357a665
Invited article: PDF Only

Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) is an important co-factor for plaque progression and rupture. So far noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown promise for the in-vivo identification of IPH and for the prediction of plaque instability. Intravascular imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound or optical coherence tomography (OCT) cannot distinguish between IPH and other plaque components. However, OCT has the unique ability to identify microvessels located in the lipid core of atherosclerotic plaque due to its high resolution (around 20 μm). Microvessels are known to be the main source of blood extravasation due to their anatomically compromised structure. Coronary plaques with a high microvessel density undergo rapid plaque progression and are often associated with other features of plaque instability such as inflammatory cells. The combination of data from both MRI and OCT studies will allow a better understanding of the mechanism of plaque destabilization and the pathophysiology of cardiovascular events.

aInterventional Cardiology, San Giovanni Hospital

bCLI Foundation, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Dr Francesco Prati, Interventional Cardiology, San Giovanni Hospital, Via dell’Amba Aradam 8, 00184 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 06 77 05 53 30; fax +39 0696527673; e-mail:

Received 5 June, 2012

Accepted 20 June, 2012

© 2018 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.