Table 2. Culprit Plaque‐Based “Vulnerable” Plaque Characterization Criteria
Expressing rupture propensity
Active inflammation
Thin cap fibroatheroma morphology/yellow color on angioscopy
Fissured plaque
Calcified nodule presence
Intraplaque hemorrhage
Endothelial dysfunction
Positive remodeling
Expressing erosion propensity
Endothelial denudation with thrombogenic proteoglycan substrate±thrombus presence
Endothelial dysfunction
Expressing effects of extrinsic factors
Lumen stenosis over 90%
  • The above criteria were developed based on autopsy findings of culprit plaques; thus, it was hypothesized that they could sufficiently and unambiguously define plaques in high risk for destabilization/events. Based on previous work.2, 3