Carotid atherosclerotic lipid-rich necrotic core (LRNC) is associated with ischemic cerebrovascular events. Currently, LRNC was mainly characterized by contrast-enhanced T1 weighted (CE-T1W) or T2 weighted (T2W) imaging. However, CE-T1W imaging needs gadolinium application and T2W imaging is challenging to identify LRNCs with long-T2 components. This study investigated the usefulness of MP-RAGE in identifying carotid LRNC by comparing with CE-T1W and T2W imaging. We found that LRNC had the lowest relative signal intensity against muscle or fibrous tissue on MP-RAGE images among three sequences (P<0.05), indicating that MP-RAGE might be a better non-contrast imaging tool to identify LRNC than T2W imaging.