Quantitative Histogram Analysis on Intracranial Atherosclerotic Plaques: A High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Intracranial atherosclerosis is one of the main causes of stroke, and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging provides useful imaging biomarkers related to the risk of ischemic events. This study aims to evaluate differences in histogram features between culprit and nonculprit intracranial atherosclerosis using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. METHODS: Two hundred forty-seven patients with intracranial atherosclerosis who underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging sequentially between January 2015 and December 2016 were recruited. Quantitative features, including stenosis, plaque burden, minimum luminal area, intraplaque hemorrhage, enhancement ratio, and dispersion of signal intensity (coefficient of variation), were analyzed based on T2-, T1-, and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images. Step-wise regression analysis was used to identify key determinates differentiating culprit and nonculprit plaques and to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs. RESULTS: In total, 190 plaques were identified, of which 88 plaques (37 culprit and 51 nonculprit) were located in the middle cerebral artery and 102 (57 culprit and 45 nonculprit) in the basilar artery. Nearly 90% of culprit lesions had a degree of luminal stenosis of