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Abstract #1885

Automatic carotid vessel wall assessment based on a combined analysis of TOF-MR angiography and MSD T2-weighted MRI sequences

Lilli Kaufhold1,2, Axel Krafft3, Christoph Strecker4, Markus Huellebrand5, Ute Ludwig3, Andreas Harloff4, and Anja Hennemuth2

1Cardiovascular Research and Development, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Berlin, Germany, 2Institute for Computational and Imaging Science in Cardiovascular Medicine, Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 3Dept. of Radiology Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, 4Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, 5Cardiovascular Research and Development, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen, Germany

The quantitative analysis of vessel wall thickness in the carotid bifurcation region based on blackblood MR imaging is a difficult problem because of partial volume effects, strong variations in surrounding tissue contrast, and flow artifacts, which frequently appear in the carotid bulbus. The abstract presents an automatic vessel wall thickness quantification approach based on a segmentation that integrates the information from a TOF-MRA sequence and a MSD-T2-weighted variable flip angle 3D MRI sequence without changing the image data.

The method is validated using a crossection-wise comparison with contours corrected by 6 different observers on 60 vessel crossections.

The results show a good overall agreement. Major deviations between observers and automatic segmentation occur in regions with strong artefact.

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