Na Zhang1, 2, Anqi Pei3, Lei Zhang1, 2, Xiaoxin Tong3, Xin Liu1, 2, Yiu-Cho Chung1, 2
1Paul C. Lauterbur Research Centre for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; 2Key Laboratory of Health Informatics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; 3Department of Neurology, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Carotid plaque imaging by MRI can characterize plaque components and allow assessment of plaque vulnerability. However, current technique requires Gd-based contrast and long examination time, making it inferior to color Doppler. We propose here a multi-contrast three dimensional (3D) carotid vessel wall imaging protocol without the use of Gd-based contrast. The protocol, consisting of T1w-SPACE, T2w-SPACE and MPRAGE, can be finished within 20 minutes including localization. Preliminary evaluation on volunteers and patients showed that total examination time was about 13 minutes excluding patient setup. The approach reduces operator dependency, provides more diagnostic information and better coverage compared to color Doppler.