Niranjan Balu1, Vasily Yarnykh1, Baocheng Chu1, Jinnan Wang2, Thomas Hatsukami1, Chun Yuan1
1University of Washington,
Black-blood MRI is an established tool for carotid atherosclerotic plaque burden measurement. Accuracy of measurement can be improved by moving to isotropic imaging but can be challenging for patient compliance due to long scan times. In this work plaque assessment by an ultrafast isotropic 3D black-blood sequence (3D-MERGE) covering the entire cervical carotid arteries within 2 minutes is validated on patients with significant carotid plaque. 3D-MERGE provides good blood suppression and comparable plaque burden measurements to existing MRI protocols. Thus it provides a promising new tool for fast and accurate plaque burden assessment in patients with atherosclerotic plaque.