Considerable evidence from preclinical and population studies suggests that HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) possess atheroprotective properties. Reports from HDL infusion studies in animals and early clinical imaging trials reported evidence of plaque regression. These findings have stimulated further interest in developing new agents targeting HDL. However, the results of more recent imaging studies in the setting of high-intensity statin use have been disappointing. As the concept of plaque changes with HDL therapeutics evolves and imaging technology to evaluate these effects advances, there will become increasing opportunity to determine the effects of HDL agents on atherosclerotic plaque (Graphic Abstract).