Atherosclerotic Plaque Progression in Carotid Arteries: Monitoring with High-Spatial-Resolution MR Imaging-Multicenter Trial

Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif., USA.
Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.87). 07/2009; 252(3):789-96. DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2523081798
Source: PubMed


To estimate the annualized rate of progression of vessel-wall volume in the carotid arteries in 160 patients by using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to establish the fraction of studies that have acceptable image quality. Materials and Methods: The study procedures and consent forms were reviewed and approved by each site's institutional review board. All U.S. study sites conducted all phases of this study in compliance with HIPAA requirements. Written consent was obtained from each participant. One hundred sixty patients with greater than 50% narrowing of the diameter of the carotid artery were recruited at six centers for prospective imaging of the carotid arteries at baseline and 1 year later by using high-spatial-resolution, 1.5-T MR imaging. Studies with unacceptable image quality were excluded. Quantitative changes in atheroma volume were measured on unenhanced T1-weighted images. A multiple linear regression analysis was used to correlate progression with several clinical factors, including statin therapy.
All 160 patients completed both baseline and follow-up studies. Of these studies, 67.5% were deemed to have image quality that was acceptable for quantitative analysis. The causes of rejection were motion (46%), deep location of the carotid artery (22%), low bifurcation of the carotid artery (13%), and "other" (19%). The mean annual change in vessel-wall volume was 2.31% +/- 10.88 (standard deviation) (P = .014). At 1-year follow-up, vessel-wall volumes in patients not receiving statin therapy had increased faster compared with those in patients receiving statin therapy: 7.87% +/- 13.58% vs 1.14% +/- 9.9%, respectively (P = .029).
Evaluation of results of a multicenter study indicates that quantitative evaluation of the progression of volume of extracranial carotid vessel walls is feasible with 1.5-T MR imaging despite limitations due to patient motion or habitus. In patients who had preexisting carotid disease, the rate of increase in vessel-wall volume was slower in patients receiving statin therapy.

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Available from: John Huston, Sep 29, 2014
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    • "diagnostic capability to detect IPH [85]. The current area of research is also focusing on prospective studies to measure plaque progression [83]; assessing predictive value of VP [86]; determining clinical factors associated with VP [87]; increasing the use of 3T magnetic field and measuring reader reproducibility. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ischemic syndromes associated with carotid atherosclerotic disease are often related to plaque rupture. The benefit of endarterectomy for high-grade carotid stenosis in symptomatic patients has been established. However, in asymptomatic patients, the benefit of endarterectomy remains equivocal. Current research seeks to risk stratify asymptomatic patients by characterizing vulnerable, rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaques. Plaque composition, biology, and biomechanics are studied by noninvasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, ultrasound, and ultrasound elastography. These techniques are at a developmental stage and have yet to be used in clinical practice. This review will describe noninvasive techniques in ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography imaging modalities used to characterize atherosclerotic plaque, and will discuss their potential clinical applications, benefits, and drawbacks.
    Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal 12/2013; 65(3). DOI:10.1016/j.carj.2013.05.003 · 0.52 Impact Factor
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    • "Complicated American Heart Association lesion type (AHA-LT) VI plaques are characterized by plaque surface rupture, luminal thrombosis and intra-plaque hemorrhage [14]. Furthermore, progression of atherosclerotic disease burden can be monitored non-invasively [16,17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In up to 30% of patients with ischemic stroke no definite etiology can be established. A significant proportion of cryptogenic stroke cases may be due to non-stenosing atherosclerotic plaques or low grade carotid artery stenosis not fulfilling common criteria for atherothrombotic stroke. The aim of the CAPIAS study is to determine the frequency, characteristics, clinical and radiological long-term consequences of ipsilateral complicated American Heart Association lesion type VI (AHA-LT VI) carotid artery plaques in patients with cryptogenic stroke.Methods/ design: 300 patients (age >49 years) with unilateral DWI-positive lesions in the anterior circulation and non- or moderately stenosing (<70% NASCET) internal carotid artery plaques will be enrolled in the prospective multicenter study CAPIAS. Carotid plaque characteristics will be determined by high-resolution black-blood carotid MRI at baseline and 12 month follow up. Primary outcome is the prevalence of complicated AHA-LT VI plaques in cryptogenic stroke patients ipsilateral to the ischemic stroke compared to the contralateral side and to patients with defined stroke etiology. Secondary outcomes include the association of AHA-LT VI plaques with the recurrence rates of ischemic events up to 36 months, rates of new ischemic lesions on cerebral MRI (including clinically silent lesions) after 12 months and the influence of specific AHA-LT VI plaque features on the progression of atherosclerotic disease burden, on specific infarct patterns, biomarkers and aortic arch plaques. CAPIAS will provide important insights into the role of non-stenosing carotid artery plaques in cryptogenic stroke. The results might have implications for our understanding of stroke mechanism, offer new diagnostic options and provide the basis for the planning of targeted interventional studies.Trial registration: NCT01284933.
    BMC Neurology 12/2013; 13(1):201. DOI:10.1186/1471-2377-13-201 · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    • "However, most of these studies, except the study by De Marco Ota et al. 2010, were performed at 1.5 T MR scanners, scan times were relatively long (up to 45 minutes) and the number of excluded subjects was up to 32.5% [17-19], impeding its use in routine clinical studies. Furthermore, the time interval between symptom onset and CMR examination in most studies with up to 3 months was relatively long [15,17] and results have to be interpreted with caution, as plaque composition might have changed during this time. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background To determine if black-blood 3 T cardiovascular magnetic resonance (bb-CMR) can depict differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques in acute ischemic stroke patients. Methods In this prospective monocentric observational study 34 patients (24 males; 70 ±9.3 years) with symptomatic carotid disease defined as ischemic brain lesions in one internal carotid artery territory on diffusion weighted images underwent a carotid bb-CMR at 3 T with fat-saturated pre- and post-contrast T1w-, PDw-, T2w- and TOF images using surface coils and Parallel Imaging techniques (PAT factor = 2) within 10 days after symptom onset. All patients underwent extensive clinical workup (lab, brain MR, duplex sonography, 24-hour ECG, transesophageal echocardiography) to exclude other causes of ischemic stroke. Prevalence of American Heart Association lesion type VI (AHA-LT6), status of the fibrous cap, presence of hemorrhage/thrombus and area measurements of calcification, necrotic core and hemorrhage were determined in both carotid arteries in consensus by two reviewers who were blinded to clinical information. McNemar and Wilcoxon's signed rank tests were use for statistical comparison. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Symptomatic plaques showed a higher prevalence of AHA-LT6 (67.7% vs. 11.8%; p < 0.001; odds ratio = 12.5), ruptured fibrous caps (44.1% vs. 2.9%; p < 0.001; odds ratio = 15.0), juxtaluminal thrombus (26.5 vs. 0%; p < 0.01; odds ratio = 7.3) and intraplaque hemorrhage (58.6% vs. 11.8%; p = 0.01; odds ratio = 3.8). Necrotic core and hemorrhage areas were greater in symptomatic plaques (14.1 mm2 vs. 5.5 mm2 and 13.6 mm2 vs. 5.3 mm2; p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusion 3 T bb-CMR is able to differentiate between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid plaques, demonstrating the potential of bb-CMR to differentiate between stable and vulnerable lesions and ultimately to identify patients with low versus high risk for cardiovascular complications. Best predictors of the symptomatic side were a ruptured fibrous cap, AHA-LT 6, juxtaluminal hemorrhage/thrombus, and intraplaque hemorrhage.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 05/2013; 15(1):44. DOI:10.1186/1532-429X-15-44 · 4.56 Impact Factor
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