Rexford D. Newbould1, Andrew P. Brown1, David R. L. Owen1, Joseph Shalhoub2, Giulio Gambarota1
1GSK Clinical Imaging Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom; 2Department of Vascular Surgery, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
USPIO uptake in carotid plaques may be a marker of macrophage activity and therefore inflammation in the plaque. Unlike FSE, GRE sequences have large artifact power from flowing blood spins in the vessels. Strong blood suppression is therefore needed to acquire T2* maps of the carotid plaques, which are located near these flowing spins, to model USPIO uptake. Motion-sensitized driven equilibrium (MSDE) preparation rapidly suppresses flowing spins, and here is applied to a multiecho GRE sequence. The effect of MSDE on the image contrast and T2* mapping is characterized, and is used in six subjects with carotid plaques at 3T.