Noninvasive high-resolution magnetic resonance has the potential to image atherosclerotic plaque and to determine its composition and microanatomy. This review summarizes the rationale for plaque imaging and describes the characteristics of plaque by use of existing MRI techniques. The use of MRI in human disease and in animal models, particularly in rabbits and mice, is presented. Present and future applications of MRI, including real-time vascular intervention, new contrast agents, and molecular imaging, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1074
Number of pages10
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Atherosclerosis
  • MRI
  • Mice
  • Molecular imaging
  • Plaque


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