Stephanie Elaine Chiu1, General Leung1, James Q. Zhan2, Alan R. Moody, 12
This study introduces a measure extracted from gadofosveset-enhanced MR images of advanced rabbit atherosclerotic plaques for the study of plaque neovascularization. Animals were scanned 1 week before, 5 weeks after, and 10 weeks after endothelial denudation of the abdominal aorta. Vessel wall enhancement area measured from post-contrast MR images obtained prior to sacrifice was strongly associated with histologically-measured microvessel count, intimal area, and macrophage area. Vessel wall enhancement area also monitored plaque development in the same group of animals over time. This MR measure is suitable for the longitudinal study of changes in plaque neovascularization and inflammation.