Shashank Sathyanarayana Hegde1, Clifford R. Weiss1, M. Arcan Erturk2, Paul A. Bottomley1, 2
1Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Typically, it is diagnosed by X-ray catheterization, which reveals luminal narrowing but is unsuitable for assessing plaque vulnerability to rupture or vessel wall thickening. Intravascular (IV) Ultrasound, IV optical coherence tomography and 3T IV MRI are non-ionizing alternatives to angiography. We compare, head-to-head, the performance (the signal- and contrast-to-noise ratios, spatial resolution, effective field-of-view, speed, and artifacts) of these modalities in diseased human vessel specimens and in a stented vessel in vitro. We show that 3T IV MRI can offer imaging capability with potentially significant advantages vs. existing methods.