3D high-resolution contrast enhanced MRI of carotid atheroma – a technical update


OBJECTIVE: Development of a fast 3D high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol for improved carotid artery plaque imaging. METHODS: Two patients with carotid atherosclerosis disease underwent 3D high-resolution MRI which included time-of-flight and T1-weighted variable flip angle, fast-spin-echo (FSE) imaging, pre- and post-intravenous gadolinium-based contrast agent administration. RESULTS: Good quality images with intrinsic blood suppression were obtained pre- and post-contrast administration using a 3D FSE sequence. The plaque burden, lipid core volume, hemorrhage volume and fibrous cap thickness were well determined. CONCLUSIONS: 3D high-resolution MR imaging of carotid plaque using TOF and 3D FSE can achieve high isotropic resolution, large coverage, and excellent image quality within a short acquisition time.