Atherosclerotic plaque rupture is the main cause of myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis and stroke. Current clinical observations suggest that an advanced plaque features a thin, collagen-rich fibrous cap infiltrated by macrophages, overlying a large lipid core rich in lipid-laden macrophages. However, due to relatively poor understanding of mechanisms associated with plaque rupture, there is no quantitative standard for plaque stability estimation.

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