What Is Hidden Behind Yellow Pixels: from Pathology to Intravascular Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaque

Karlis Trusinskis (Coresponding Author), Evija Knoka, Laima Caunite, Mairita Karantajere, Maris Lapsovs, Sandra Paeglite, Ieva Briede, Karlis Grikis, Sanda Jegere, Indulis Kumsars, Inga Narbute, Rudolfs Roze, Dace Sondore, Andrejs Erglis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Intravascular imaging systems can identify lipid-rich and vulnerable plaques and help in treatment guidance. The comparability of different intracoronary imaging methods remains unclear. In this paper, we review atherosclerotic plaque pathology, plaque-stabilising effects of different lipid-lowering therapies and usage of intravascular imaging modalities. We present the results of our study in which we evaluated the correlation of the intravascular ultrasound iMAP system (iMAP-IVUS) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in the diagnosis of vulnerable coronary plaques. Recent Findings: Lipids have an essential contribution to plaque evolution and vulnerability. Increase in plaque vulnerability alone even without increase in plaque burden defines progression of atherosclerosis. Lipidic tissue has a significant diagnostic value in patient risk stratification and can serve as a treatment target. Different vulnerable plaque parameters can be visualised with iMAP-IVUS and NIRS. Summary: Intravascular imaging systems can differ with regard to their sensitivity, specificity and limitations. Lipid-lowering therapy is crucial in plaque stabilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Atherosclerotic plaque
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Intravascular imaging
  • NIRS

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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