Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Atherosclerosis is a progressive chronic arterial disease characterised by atheromatous plaque formation in the intima of the arterial wall. Several invasive and non‐invasive imaging techniques have been developed to detect and characterise atherosclerosis in the vessel wall: anatomic/structural imaging, functional imaging and molecular imaging. In molecular imaging, vascular cell adhesion molecule‐1 (VCAM‐1) is a promising target for the non‐invasive detection of atherosclerosis and for the assessment of novel antiatherogenic treatments. VCAM‐1 is an adhesion molecule expressed on the activated endothelial surface that binds leucocyte ligands and therefore promotes leucocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration. Hence, for several years, there has been an increase in molecular imaging methods for detecting VCAM‐1 in MRI, PET, SPECT, optical imaging and ultrasound. The use of microparticles of iron oxide (MPIO), ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO), microbubbles, echogenic immunoliposomes, peptides, nanobodies and other nanoparticles has been described. However, these approaches have been tested in animal models, and the remaining challenge is bench-to‐bedside development and clinical applicability.