Special Issue "Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging"


A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2015

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Michael Henein
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medical and Heart Center, Umea University, Umea, Sweden
Website: http://www.umu.se/sok/english/staff-directory/view-person?showAll6=yes&uid=mihe0015&guise=anst2
E-Mail: michael.henein@medicin.umu.se
Phone: +46 90 785 00 00
Fax: +46 90 13 76 33
Interests: Non-invasive cardiology; Echocardiography; Coronary artery disease imaging; Carotid atherosclerosis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in the West, and vascular disease is the most common cardiovascular clinical problem. The disease results in serious morbidity and mortality, and carries economic cost implications. While conventional risk factors are well established, and their biomarkers regularly monitored, patients may continue to suffer subclinical active disease, even in the absence of risk factors, until they present with sudden cardiac death or stroke. Early disease detection using direct imaging has shown to be more accurate in identifying vulnerable patients and unstable plaques than conventional risk factors. This IJMS issue deals with the current opinion concerning the state-of-the-art imaging technologies available for clinical applications and their unique value over  the sole use of conventional risk factor analysis, in identifying vulnerable patients, recommending aggressive treatments, prognosticating, and in assessing related nutritional and environmental issues.

Prof. Michael Henein
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • intima media thickness (imt) accuracy in identifying high risk individuals
  • IMT vs conventional risk factors in improving risk stratification
  • carotid plaque characterization
  • coronary calcification for daily risk assessment
  • coronary calcification: a risk or benefit?
  • nutritional influences on cardiovascular calcification
  • environmental influences on cardiovascular calcification
  • MRA for plaque characterization
  • PET/CT use in assessing lipid cores and their clinical relevance
  • vascular imaging for direct treatment delivery
  • vascular calcification challenges in intervention

Published Papers (8 papers)

Download All Papers
Sort by:
Display options:
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-8
p. 11574-11608
by ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 11574-11608; doi:10.3390/ijms160511574
Received: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1321 KB)
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 10734-10747
by , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 10734-10747; doi:10.3390/ijms160510734
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 12 May 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (809 KB) | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 10121-10133
by  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 10121-10133; doi:10.3390/ijms160510121
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 24 April 2015 / Published: 5 May 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (939 KB)
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 9749-9769
by  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 9749-9769; doi:10.3390/ijms16059749
Received: 6 February 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 29 April 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (3351 KB)
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 6606-6620
by  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 6606-6620; doi:10.3390/ijms16036606
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 5 March 2015 / Published: 23 March 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 3885-3894
by , , , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 3885-3894; doi:10.3390/ijms16023885
Received: 14 December 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
abstract graphic
p. 3740-3756
by , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 3740-3756; doi:10.3390/ijms16023740
Received: 4 January 2015 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
p. 15734-15740
by ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15734-15740; doi:10.3390/ijms150915734
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (3984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-8
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Coronary Artery Calcium Screening: Does it Perform Better Than Other Cardiovascular Risk Stratification Tools?
Authors: Irfan Zeb and Matthew Budoff
Affiliation: Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center; Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Abstract: Coronary artery calcium (CAC) has been advocated as one of the strong cardiovascular risk prediction markers. It performs better across a wide range of Framingham risk categories (6% to 10% and 10% to 20% 10-year risk categories) and also helps reclassifying the risk of these subjects into either higher or lower risk categories based on CAC scores. It also performs better among population subgroups where Framingham risk score does not perform well, especially young subjects, women, family history of premature coronary artery disease and ethnic differences in coronary risk. The absence of CAC is also associated with excellent prognosis, with 10-year event rate of 1%. Studies have also compared with other commonly used markers of cardiovascular disease risk such as Carotid intima-media thickness and highly sensitive C-reactive protein. CAC also performs better compared with carotid intima-media thickness and highly sensitive C-reactive protein in prediction of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease events. CAC scans are associated with relatively low radiation exposure (0.9 to 1.1 mSv) and provides information that can be used not only for risk stratification but also can be used to track the progression of atherosclerosis and the effects of statins.

Title: A Review of the Effect of Diet on Cardiovascular Calcification
Authors: Rachel Nicoll, John McLaren Howard and Michael Y Henein
Affiliation: Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and Heart Centre, Umea University, Umea, Sweden; Acumen Lab, Tiverton, Devon, UK
Abstract: Cardiovascular (CV) calcification is known as sub-clinical atherosclerosis and is recognised as a predictor of CV events and mortality. As yet there is no treatment for CV calcification and conventional CV risk factors are not consistently correlated, leaving clinicians uncertain as to optimum management for these patients. For this reason, a review of studies investigating diet and serum levels of macro- and micronutrients was carried out in an attempt to determine whether any might worsen or prevent CV calcification. Although there were few human studies of macronutrients, nevertheless transfats and simple sugars, which can increase serum glucose or disturb serum insulin, should be avoided, while long chain omega-3 fats from oily fish may be protective. Among the micronutrients, an intake of c800mg/d calcium was beneficial in those without renal disease or hyper-parathyroidism, while inorganic phosphorus from food preservatives and colas may induce calcification. A high intake of magnesium (≥380 mg/d) and phylloquinone (500mcg/d) proved protective, as did a serum 25(OH)D concentration of ≥75nmol/l. Although oxidative damage appears to be a cause of CV calcification, the antioxidant vitamins proved to be largely ineffective, while supplementation of α-tocopherol may induce it. Nevertheless other antioxidant compounds (epigallocatechin gallate from green tea and resveratrol from red wine and grapes) were protective. Finally, a homocysteine concentration >12mcmol/l was predictive of CV calcification, although a plasma folate concentration of >39.4nmol/l could both lower homocysteine and protect against calcification. In terms of a dietary programme, these recommendations indicate avoiding processed foods and drinks and adopting a diet high in oily fish and vegetables. The micronutrients magnesium and vitamin K may be worthy of further investigation as a treatment option for CV calcification.

Title: Ultrasound Tissue Characterization of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque
Authors: Eugenio Picano and Marco Paterni
Affiliation: CNR, Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa, Italy
Abstract: A thrombotic occlusion of a ruptured coronary atherosclerotic plaque may result in unstable angina, myocardial infarction or death, whereas embolization from a plaque in carotid arteries may result in transient ischemic attack or stroke. The atherosclerotic plaque prone to such clinical events is termed high-risk or vulnerable plaque, and its identification in humans before they become symptomatic has been elusive to date. Ultrasonic tissue characterization of the atherosclerotic plaque is possible with different techniques -- such as vascular, transesophageal, and intravascular ultrasound -- on a variety of arterial segments, including carotid, aorta, and coronary districts. The image analysis can be based on visual, video-densitometric or radiofrequency methods and identifies three distinct textural patterns: hypo-echoic (corresponding to lipid- and hemorrhage-rich plaque), iso- or moderately hyper-echoic (fibrotic or fibro-fatty plaque), and markedly hyperechoic with shadowing (calcific plaque). Hypoechoic or dishomogeneous plaques, with spotty microcalcification and large plaque burden, with plaque neovascularization and surface irregularities by contrast-enhanced ultrasound, are more prone to clinical complications than hyperechoic, extensively calcified, homogeneous plaques with limited plaque burden, smooth luminal plaque surface and absence of neovascularization. Plaque ultrasound morphology is important, along with plaque geometry, in determining the atherosclerotic prognostic burden in the individual patient. New quantitative methods beyond backscatter (to include speed of sound, attenuation, strain, temperature, and high order statistics) are under development to evaluate vascular tissues. Although not yet ready for widespread clinical use, tissue characterization is listed by the American Society of Echocardiography roadmap to 2020 as one of the most promising fields of application in cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, offering unique opportunities for the early detection and treatment of atherosclerotic disease.

Last update: 12 March 2015

Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert