Study done by:

Department of Cardiology

University Clinic Essen , Germany . Axel.

Schmermund A, Rodermann J, Erbel R.

Herz. 2003 Sep;28(6):505-12.


Reliability and repeatability of thermographic examination and the normal thermographic image of the thoracolumbar region in the horse.

Arteriosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammatory processes play a role in the initiation of plaque development and the early stages of the disease as well as in complex plaques and complications such as intraarterial thrombosis. A method to detect inflammation in coronary arteries has the potential to characterize both local and systemic activation of arteriosclerotic plaque disease. It could help to define in more detail what constitutes a vulnerable plaque or vulnerable vessel and thus improve the prediction of acute coronary syndromes. Intracoronary thermography records a cardinal sign of inflammation. Heat is probably produced by (activated) macrophages. Experimental work has suggested that thermal heterogeneity is present in arteriosclerotic plaques and that increased temperature is found at the site of inflammatory cellular-macrophage-infiltration. Preliminary experience in patients undergoing coronary angiography has demonstrated that it is safe and feasible to perform intracoronary thermography using various systems. A graded relationship between thermal heterogeneity and clinical symptoms has been reported, with the greatest temperature elevation in acute myocardial infarction. Increases in thermal heterogeneity appeared to be associated with a comparably unfavorable long-term prognosis.



Intracoronary thermography has the potential to provide insights into location and extent of inflammation as well as the prognostic consequences. Currently, this novel method and the underlying concepts are extensively evaluated.


Study done by:

Department of Internal Medicine

State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Bhatia V, Bhatia R, Dhindsa S, Dhindsa M.

South Med J. 2003 Nov;96(11):1142-7.


Atherosclerosis is currently considered to be an inflammatory and thus a systemic disease affecting multiple arterial beds. Recent advances in intravascular imaging have shown multiple sites of atherosclerotic changes in coronary arterial wall. Traditionally, angiography has been used to detect and characterize atherosclerotic plaque in coronary arteries, but recently it has been found that plaques that are not significantly stenotic on angiography cause acute myocardial infarction. As a result, newer imaging and diagnostic modalities are required to predict which of the atherosclerotic plaque are prone to rupture and hence distinguish "stable" and "vulnerable" plaques. Intravascular ultrasound can identify multiple plaques that are not seen on coronary angiography.



Thermography has shown much promise and is based on the concept that the inflammatory plaques are associated with increased temperature and can also identify "vulnerable patients." Of all these newer modalities, magnetic resonance imaging has shown the most promise in identification and characterization of vulnerable plaques. In this article, we review the newer coronary artery imaging modalities and discuss the limitations of traditional coronary angiography.

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