Imaging of subclinical atherosclerosis in children and young adults

Authors
Citation
Ot. Raitakari, Imaging of subclinical atherosclerosis in children and young adults, ANN MED, 31, 1999, pp. 33-40
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
General & Internal Medicine","Medical Research General Topics
Journal title
ANNALS OF MEDICINE
ISSN journal
0785-3890 → ACNP
Volume
31
Year of publication
1999
Supplement
1
Pages
33 - 40
Database
ISI
SICI code
0785-3890(199904)31:<33:IOSAIC>2.0.ZU;2-8
Abstract
Atherosclerosis begins in childhood and has a long preclinical phase before ischaemic symptoms appear. This provides an opportunity for subclinical de tection of the disease and identification of high-risk subjects. Recent adv ances in imaging technology have identified many early functional and struc tural vascular changes, some of which may reflect subclinical atheroscleros is, and therefore provide areas of potential interest for diagnostic tests of preclinical atherosclerosis. These tarry events include changes in arter ial vasodilatory function, alterations in arterial elasticity, thickening o f arterial walls and calcification of atherosclerotic lesions. Clinical tes ting for presymptomatic atherosclerosis should involve methods that are saf e, noninvasive, reliable and reproducible, and which correlate with the ext ent of the atherosclerotic process. Although no such tests are currently wi dely used in clinical practice, potential methods for detecting the process es outlined above include ultrasound, positron emission tomography, magneti c resonance imaging and ultrafast computed tomography. With further develop ments, noninvasive imaging techniques for the study of arterial function an d structure may soon provide clinically useful ways of detecting early athe rosclerosis in high-risk asymptomatic subjects at a stage where preventive strategies are most likely to have important health benefits.