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Imaging in medicine has been revolutionised by technological, computational and research advances over the past decades. Computed tomography (CT), in particular, has seen rapid evolution especially in the field of cardiovascular non-invasive imaging. It is being recognised as the first-line tool for the assessment of stable and unstable disease with diagnostic, prognostic and re-stratification potential. Vascular inflammation is a key component of the atherosclerotic process and has been shown to induce molecular, transcriptional and structural changes to perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT). Being a diverse structure itself, PVAT surrounds the human vessels and is characterised by a highly rich secretome, including, amongst others, adipokines, cytokines, gaseous messengers and miRNAs It is implicated in a bidirectional interplay with the adjacent vascular wall, affecting and being affected by aspects of its biology, mainly inflammation. In this review, we discuss the current status of cardiac CT in imaging vascular inflammation through PVAT phenotyping. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on Molecular imaging - visual themed issue. To view the other articles in this section visit

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





4270 - 4290


CT imaging, atherosclerosis, attenuation, inflammation, perivascular adipose tissue, radiomics, Adipokines, Adipose Tissue, Humans, Secretome, Tomography, Tomography, X-Ray Computed