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Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based Assessment of Carotid Atheroma: a Comparative Study of Patients with and without Coronary Artery Disease.

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Usman, Ammara 
Sadat, Umar 
Graves, Martin J 
Boyle, Jonathan R 


BACKGROUND: Functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of atheroma using contrast media enables assessment of the systemic severity of atherosclerosis in different arterial beds. Whether black-blood imaging has similar ability remains widely unexplored. In this study, we evaluate whether black-blood imaging can differentiate carotid plaques of patients with and without coronary artery disease (CAD) in terms of morphological and biomechanical features of plaque vulnerability, thereby allowing assessment of the systemic severity nature of atherosclerosis in different arterial beds. METHODS: Forty-one patients with CAD and 59 patients without CAD underwent carotid black-blood MR imaging. Plaque components were segmented to identify large lipid core (LC), ruptured fibrous cap (FC), and plaque hemorrhage (PH). These segmented contours of plaque components were used to quantify maximum structural biomechanical stress. RESULTS: Patients with CAD and without CAD had comparable demographics and comorbidities. Both groups had comparable prevalence of morphological features of plaque vulnerability (FC rupture, 44% versus 41%, P = .90; PH, 58% versus 47%, P = .78; large LC, 32% versus 47%, P = .17), respectively. The maximum biomechanical stress was not significantly different for both groups (241versus 278 kPa, P = .14) respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Black-blood imaging does not appear to have the ability to differentiate between the morphological and biomechanical features of plaque vulnerability when comparing patients with and without symptomatic atherosclerotic disease in a distant arterial territory such as coronary artery.



MRI, black-blood imaging, carotid, coronary artery disease, functional imaging, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain, Carotid Artery Diseases, Comorbidity, Contrast Media, Coronary Artery Disease, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Plaque, Atherosclerotic, Retrospective Studies

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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis

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Elsevier BV
TCC (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)
European Commission (224297)
A.U. received funding from Mountbatten Cambridge International Scholarship in collaboration with Cambridge Trust, Christ’s College, and Sir Ernest Cassel Education Trust. U.S. received funding from a Royal College of Surgeons of England/Medical Research Council (United Kingdom) clinical research training fellowship at the time when the study was conducted. This study was supported by NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.