Di Qian1,2, Paul A Bottomley1,2
1Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology & Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Electrical & Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
Fibrous cap thickness is key to assessing vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque. MRI is intrinsically well-suited for plaque imaging, but has lacked the spatial resolution needed to resolve the cap and other pathologies. At 3T, the intravascular loopless MRI detector offers ~4-fold higher signal-to-noise ratio than at 1.5T, and can be made safe from RF heating. Here we investigate its use for identifying plaques for subsequent high-resolution 80m imaging of lesion and vessel wall morphology in diseased human arterial specimens in vitro, correlating MRI measurements of fibrous caps with histology. Feasibility of the approach is demonstrated in a rabbit aorta in vivo.