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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the value of oblique-sagittal black-blood contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (OB-CEMRI) in atherosclerotic carotid artery (CA) assessment before carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Twenty-five patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic stenosis in the carotid artery (involving 26 arteries) were scheduled for CEA. OB-CEMRI and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) were conducted within 1 week prior to CEA, and two radiologists independently assessed the location of maximal lumen stenosis, plaque rupture, degree of maximal lumen stenosis and plaque involvement on DSA and OB-CEMRI images. The differences of DSA and the OB-CEMRI in analyzing the plaque conditions were assessed in comparison with matched histological sections of the excised specimens. Compared with the corresponding histological specimens, both DSA (κ=0.807) and OB-CEMRI (κ=0.812) showed a good consistency in defining the location of the maximal lumen stenosis. OB-CEMRI showed a better performance in detecting plaque rupture with higher sensitivity (90.0%) and specificity (83.3%) than DSA (40.0% and 66.7%, respectively). No significant difference was found between DSA and the OB-CEMRI in evaluating the degree of maximal lumen stenosis [(77.33∓3.79)% vs (76.02∓3.95)%, P=0.648]. Compared with the histological examination, OB-CEMRI appeared to underestimate the stenosis. The plaque extent on OB-CEMRI was larger than that on DSA (18.96∓4.96 mm vs 14.80∓3.78 mm, P=0.004), and similar to that by histological examination (18.13∓4.57 mm, P=0.506). OB-CEMRI allows noninvasive and objective detection of the location of the maximal lumen stenosis, plaque rupture, and plaque extent, though with a lower accuracy than DSA in the assessment of the maximal lumen stenosis. OB-CEMRI combined with DSA offers a more reliable means for preoperative evaluation of the carotid artery plaques for CEA. Key words: atherosclerosis; carotid artery; magnetic resonance imaging; angiography, digital subtraction; endarterectomy.
    Nan fang yi ke da xue xue bao = Journal of Southern Medical University 03/2011; 31(3):385-91.