Anja G. van der Kolk1, Jaco J.M. Zwanenburg1, Wim G.M. Spliet2, Fredy Visser1, 3, Peter R. Luijten1, Jeroen Hendrikse1
1Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 3Philips Healthcare, Best, Netherlands
Histopathological studies form the basis of our understanding of pathogenesis of atherosclerotic disease. However, they require ex vivo material, obtained by invasive techniques. Using ultrahigh-field 7T MRI, we might have the spatial resolution and high tissue contrast necessary to noninvasively image intracranial atherosclerosis. In this study, 5 Circle-of-Willis specimens were scanned at 7T with a protocol consisting of a 0.11x0.11mm in-plane resolution T1-, T2-, T2*- and PD-weighted sequence, and compared to histological cuts. On MR, several distinct areas could be identified within the atherosclerotic plaques, suggesting a future role of high-resolution 7T MRI for noninvasive assessment of intracranial atherosclerosis.