Meeting Banner
Abstract #3835

Carotid Contrast Enhanced MRA as a Measurement of Atherosclerosis Severity: Direct Comparison with High-Resolution Vessel Wall Imaging

Li Dong1, Hunter Underhill1, Vasily L. Yarnykh1, Wei Yu2, Hideki Ota1, Xihai Zhao1, Thomas S. Hatsukami3, Zhaoqi Zhang2, Chun Yuan1

1Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Radiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Beijing, China; 3Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

We sought to assess correlations between MRA, plaque burden and high-risk plaque features in a clinical atherosclerosis population. Subjects (n=66) with >50% carotid stenosis measured by ultrasound in at least one carotid artery, underwent bilateral contrast-enhanced carotid MRA at 3.0T to determine the degree of stenosis and bilateral carotid MRI to identify plaque burden, composition and fibrous cap status. There was a moderate positive correlation between degree of stenosis and plaque burden, but a weak correlation with plaque composition and cap status. Furthermore, high-risk plaque features were commonly observed in arteries with no or minimal stenosis. These findings suggest a critical role for vessel wall imaging to assess the risk of carotid atherosclerosis for future ischemic events.