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Abstract #2982

Ultrahigh-Resolution 0.11x0.11mm MR Imaging of the Intracranial Atherosclerotic Vessel Wall at 7.0 Tesla

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.