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Coronary CT Angiography in Managing Atherosclerosis

Cardioangiologisches Centrum Bethanien, Im Prüfling 23, D-60389 Frankfurt, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Henein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 3740-3756;
Received: 4 January 2015 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis and Vascular Imaging)
PDF [1130 KB, uploaded 9 February 2015]


Invasive coronary angiography (ICA) was the only method to image coronary arteries for a long time and is still the gold-standard. Technology of noninvasive imaging by coronary computed-tomography angiography (CCTA) has experienced remarkable progress during the last two decades. It is possible to visualize atherosclerotic lesions in the vessel wall in contrast to “lumenography” performed by ICA. Coronary artery disease can be ruled out by CCTA with excellent accuracy. The degree of stenoses is, however, often overestimated which impairs specificity. Atherosclerotic lesions can be characterized as calcified, non-calcified and partially calcified. Calcified plaques are usually quantified using the Agatston-Score. Higher scores are correlated with worse cardiovascular outcome and increased risk of cardiac events. For non-calcified or partially calcified plaques different angiographic findings like positive remodelling, a large necrotic core or spotty calcification more frequently lead to myocardial infarctions. CCTA is an important tool with increasing clinical value for ruling out coronary artery disease or relevant stenoses as well as for advanced risk stratification. View Full-Text
Keywords: atherosclerosis; coronary plaques; coronary computed-tomography angiography (CCTA); coronary calcium; cardiac events atherosclerosis; coronary plaques; coronary computed-tomography angiography (CCTA); coronary calcium; cardiac events

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Eckert, J.; Schmidt, M.; Magedanz, A.; Voigtländer, T.; Schmermund, A. Coronary CT Angiography in Managing Atherosclerosis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 3740-3756.

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