Carotid atherosclerotic plaque (CAP) may rupture without warning and cause acute cardiovascular syndromes such as stroke, which is the No.3 killer in USA and a leading cause of serious disabilities. Available screening and diagnosis techniques are insufficient to identify those victims before the event occurs. Noninvasive methods to identify new and emerging biomarkers to assess plaque vulnerability and predict possible rupture before the fatal event are urgently called for.

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