J. Kevin DeMarco1, Hideki Ota1, Hunter R. Underhill2, David Zhu1, Mat Reeves1, Arshad Majid1, Alonso Collar3, Minako Oikawa2, Li Dong2, Xihai Zhao2, Feiyu Li2, Vasily L. Yarnykh2, Chun Yuan2
1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA; 2University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Great Lakes Heart Lung Institute, East Lansing, MI, USA
In order to improve the evaluation of carotid stenosis, we combined multi-contrast carotid plaque imaging with very high-resolution (0.28mm3) contrast-enhanced MRA at 3.0 T. Ninety-seven consecutive outpatients were studied. For the population as a whole and for subgroups of <70% and 70-99% stenosis, intraplaque hemorrhage, particularly Type I hemorrhage, was significantly associated with symptom status. In lesions with <70% stenosis by MRA, we found a strong association between fibrous cap status, intraplaque hemorrhage, and the size of the necrotic core with symptom. In patients with <70% stenosis, carotid plaque imaging may be able to distinguish between stable and unstable lesions.