Jianming Cai1, Qingjun Wang1, Yong Wang1, Youquan Cai1, Lin Ma1, Dongxiang Xu2, Chun Yuan2
1Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China; 2Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
By using multi-contrast high-resolution MRI, we studied prospectively whether carotid plaque characteristics can predict unstable angina pectoris (UAP). In the present study, each subject with stenosis >50% in one or more major coronary arteries was performed a carotid MRI examination on a 3.0-T MRI scanner. Our findings show that the presence of fibrous cap rupture was the strongest independent predictor of UAP. With a multi-contrast high-resolution MRI, the ruptured carotid plaques may be a surrogate marker for identifying patients at high risk of UAP and may contribute to a better risk stratification of patients with coronary artery disease.