Coronary artery disease (CAD) is highly prevalent in Western countries and is associated with morbidity, mortality, and a significant economic burden. Despite the development of anti-atherosclerotic medical therapies, many patients still continue to suffer from coronary events. This residual risk indicates the need for better risk stratification and additional therapies to achieve more reductions in cardiovascular risk. Recent advances in imaging modalities have contributed to visualizing atherosclerotic plaques and defining lesion characteristics in vivo. This innovation has been applied to refining revascularization procedure, assessment of anti-atherosclerotic drug efficacy and the detection of high-risk plaques. As such, intravascular imaging plays an important role in further improvement of cardiovascular outcomes in patients with CAD. The current article reviews available intravascular imaging modalities with regard to its method, advantage and disadvantage.
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