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With the enormous progress in the field of cardiovascular imaging in recent years, computed tomography (CT) has become readily available to phenotype atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. New analytical methods using artificial intelligence (AI) enable the analysis of complex phenotypic information of atherosclerotic plaques. In particular, deep learning-based approaches using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) facilitate tasks such as lesion detection, segmentation, and classification. New radiotranscriptomic techniques even capture underlying bio-histochemical processes through higher-order structural analysis of voxels on CT images. In the near future, the international large-scale Oxford Risk Factors And Non-invasive Imaging (ORFAN) study will provide a powerful platform for testing and validating prognostic AI-based models. The goal is the transition of these new approaches from research settings into a clinical workflow. In this review, we present an overview of existing AI-based techniques with focus on imaging biomarkers to determine the degree of coronary inflammation, coronary plaques, and the associated risk. Further, current limitations using AI-based approaches as well as the priorities to address these challenges will be discussed. This will pave the way for an AI-enabled risk assessment tool to detect vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques and to guide treatment strategies for patients.

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AI, Atherosclerosis, CCTA, CT, Coronary artery disease, EAT, FAI, FRP, Fat attenuation index, HRP, Imaging, Inflammation, ORFAN, Plaques, Radiomics, Radiotranscriptomics