Niranjan Balu1, Vasily Yarnykh1, Baocheng Chu1, Jinnan Wang1, Thomas Hatsukami2, Chun Yuan1
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Carotid atherosclerotic plaque burden assessment and compositional analysis using black-blood MRI is currently limited by large slice thickness. We present a new 3D black-blood sequence (3D BB) to image the entire cervical carotid arteries with isotropic 0.7 mm voxel size in 2 minutes, thus ensuring patient compliance and diagnostic image quality. In-vivo identification of calcification, hemorrhage and lipid core using the 3D BB sequence was validated against standard carotid MRI sequences on 15 patients.with high sensitivity and specificity for detection of all three components. 3D BB is a promising new tool for comprehensive plaque assessment using a single sequence.