chapter  38
10 Pages

Imaging of Plaques and Vasa Vasorum with Micro-computed Tomography: Towards an Understanding of Unstable Plaque

ByAlexander C Langheinrich

There have been great advances in our knowledge of the

cellular biology underlying atherosclerotic plaque formation

and progression. A hot topic in vascular biology is the role of

abnormal plaque vascularization in atherogenesis. In normal

arteries, microvessels, vasa vasorum (VV), are observed only

in the adventitia and in the outer media of artery walls

that exceed a thickness of 250 µm. Neovascularization in

atherosclerotic arteries occurs primarily by growth from the

adventitia into the neointima of advanced plaques. New

microvessels in plaques appear fragile and are susceptible to

rupture which may contribute to intraplaque hemorrhage.