Marcus R Makowski

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany

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Publications (58)245.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To evaluate the diagnostic performance of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) and standard shoulder joint magnetic resonance (MR) sequences in comparison to that of conventional radiography for the identification of calcifications in the rotator cuff in patients with calcific tendonitis. Materials and Methods The institutional review board approved this prospective study. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Fifty-four patients clinically suspected of having calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff were included. On radiographs (the standard of reference), 27 patients had positive calcification findings, and 27 did not. Standard MR sequences and SWI, including magnitude and phase imaging, were performed. The diameter of calcifications was measured to assess intermodality correlations. Sensitivity, specificity, and intra- and interobserver agreement were calculated. Phantom measurements were performed to assess the detection limit of SWI. Results Fifty-six calcifications were detected with radiography in 27 patients. Most (55 calcifications, 98%) could be identified as calcifications by using SWI. Standard T1- and T2-weighted sequences were used to identify 33 calcifications (59%). SWI yielded a sensitivity of 98% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.943, 1) and specificity of 96% (95% CI: 0.886, 1) for the identification of calcifications when compared with radiography. Standard rotator cuff MR sequences yielded a sensitivity of 59% (95% CI: 0.422, 0.758) and specificity of 67% (95% CI: 0.493, 0.847). Diameter measurements demonstrated a high correlation between SWI and radiography (R(2) = 0.90), with overestimation of lesion diameter at SWI (mean ± standard deviation for SWI, 7.6 mm ± 5.4; for radiography, 5.3 mm ± 5.1). SWI yielded higher interobserver agreement (R(2) = 0.99, P < .001; 95% CI: 0.989, 0.996) compared with standard MR sequences (R(2) = 0.67, P = .62; 95% CI: 0.703, 0.899). In phantom experiments, SWI and computed tomography were used to identify small calcifications that were missed at radiography. Conclusion SWI enables the reliable detection of calcifications in the rotator cuff in patients with calcific tendonitis by using conventional radiography as a reference and offers better sensitivity and specificity than standard rotator cuff MR sequences. (©) RSNA, 2015 Online supplemental material is available for this article.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Radiology
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular imaging aims to improve the identification and characterization of pathological processes in vivo by visualizing the underlying biological mechanisms. Molecular imaging techniques are increasingly used to assess vascular inflammation, remodeling, cell migration, angioneogenesis and apoptosis. In cardiovascular diseases, molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers new insights into the in vivo biology of pathological vessel wall processes of the coronary and carotid arteries and the aorta. This includes detection of early vascular changes preceding plaque development, visualization of unstable plaques and assessment of response to therapy. The current review focuses on recent developments in the field of molecular MRI to characterise different stages of atherosclerotic vessel wall disease. A variety of molecular MR-probes have been developed to improve the non-invasive detection and characterization of atherosclerotic plaques. Specifically targeted molecular probes allow for the visualization of key biological steps in the cascade leading to the development of arterial vessel wall lesions. Early detection of processes which lead to the development of atherosclerosis and the identification of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques may enable the early assessment of response to therapy, improve therapy planning, foster the prevention of cardiovascular events and may open the door for the development of patient-specific treatment strategies. • Targeted MR-probes allow the characterization of atherosclerosis on a molecular level. • Molecular MRI can identify in vivo markers for the differentiation of stable and unstable plaques. • Visualization of early molecular changes has the potential to improve patient-individualized risk-assessment.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · European Radiology

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · RöFo - Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der R
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    ABSTRACT: Different techniques for magnetic resonance-guided lumbar interventions have been introduced in recent years. Appropriate pulse sequence design is crucial since high spatial resolution often comes at the cost of lower temporal resolution. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the value of accelerated reduced field of view (ZOOM)-based imaging sequences for lumbar interventions. ZOOM imaging was used in 31 interventions (periradicular, facet joint, epidural infiltrations, and discography) performed in 24 patients (10 women, 14 men; age 43±13.3 years). Signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were determined and retrospectively compared with standard preinterventional (T2 weighted), peri-interventional (proton density), and postinterventional (spectral presaturation with inversion recovery [SPIR]) imaging. Needle artifacts were assessed by direct measurement as well as with parallel and perpendicular needle profiles. Puncture times were compared to similar interventions previously performed in our department. No significant differences in signal intensities (standard/ZOOM: 152.0/151.6; p=0.136) and CNR values (2.0/4.0; p=0.487) were identified for T2-weighted sequences. The needle artifact signal intensity was comparable (648.1/747.5; p=0.172) for peri-interventional imaging. Standard interventional (fat needle: 43.8/23.4; p<0.001; muscle needle: 6.2/2.4; p<0.001) and SPIR sequences (43.3/13.9; p=0.010) showed a higher CNR than corresponding ZOOM sequences did. Needle artifacts were larger in ZOOM (2.4 mm/2.9 mm; p=0.005). The profiles revealed that ZOOM imaging delivers more overall signal intensity. The turning points of both profiles were comparable. ZOOM reduced intervention times significantly (329.1 s/228.5 s; p=0.026). ZOOM imaging is a feasible interactive sequence for lumbar interventions. It ameliorates the tradeoff between image quality and temporal resolution. Moreover, the sequence design reduces intervention times significantly.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialized and developing countries. In clinical practice, the in-vivo identification of atherosclerotic lesions, which can lead to complications such as heart attack or stroke, remains difficult. Imaging techniques provide the reference standard for the detection of clinically significant atherosclerotic changes in the coronary and carotid arteries. The assessment of the luminal narrowing is feasible, while the differentiation of stable and potentially unstable or vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is currently not possible using non-invasive imaging. With high spatial resolution and high soft tissue contrast, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a suitable method for the evaluation of the thin arterial wall. In clinical practice, native MRI of the vessel wall already allows the differentiation and characterization of components of atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid arteries and the aorta. Additional diagnostic information can be gained by the use of non-specific MRI contrast agents. With the development of targeted molecular probes, that highlight specific molecules or cells, pathological processes can be visualized at a molecular level with high spatial resolution. In this review article, the development of pathophysiological changes leading to the development of the arterial wall are introduced and discussed. Additionally, principles of contrast enhanced imaging with non-specific contrast agents and molecular probes will be discussed and latest developments in the field of molecular imaging of the vascular wall will be introduced. Key points: Molecular magnetic resonance imaging has great potential to improve the in vivo characterization of atherosclerotic plaques. Based on the molecular information is feasible to enable a better differentiation of stable and unstable (vulnerable) atherosclerotic plaques.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · RöFo - Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der R
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this prospective study is to compare the performance of 2D time-resolved phase-contrast (PC) MRI prior to and after the administration of an intravascular (gadofosveset-trisodium) and extravascular (gadopentetate-dimeglumine) contrast agent in the same patient in the cardiovascular system. This study was approved by the ethics committee (Study-Number-07/Q0704/2) and registered with the MedicinesAndHealthcareProductsRegulatoryAgency (MHRA-Study-Number-28482/0002/001-0001, EudraCT-Number-2006-007042). All patients signed an informed consent. 20 patients were examined using a 1.5T MR-scanner and 32-channel-coil-technology. Gadopentetate-dimeglumine (GdD) and gadofosveset-trisodium (GdT) were administered in the same patient on consecutive days. Image quality, velocity-to-noise-ratios (VNRs) and standard-deviation of blood-flow-velocities (phase-noise) were compared between GdT, GdD and non-contrast-enhanced imaging. On both days pre- and post-contrast-scans were performed. The administration of GdT significantly improved the delineation of the perfused lumen and the VNR compared to GdD and non-contrast-enhanced imaging. Standard deviations of through-plane and in-plane velocity-measurements (phase-noise) were significantly reduced after GdT administration (p < 0.05). No significant differences (p > 0.05) were measured regarding absolute flow values prior to and after the administration of GdD and GdT. PC flow imaging benefits from the administration of an intravascular contrast agent by improving the delineation of the perfused lumen and reducing phase noise in flow measurements.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) has increased during the last decades. However, there is still controversy about the management of medium-sized AAAs. Therefore, novel biomarkers, besides aneurysmal diameter, are needed to assess aortic wall integrity and risk of rupture. Elastin is the key protein for maintaining aortic wall tensile strength and stability. The progressive breakdown of structural proteins, in particular, medial elastin, is responsible for the inability of the aortic wall to withstand intraluminal hemodynamic forces. Here, we evaluate the usefulness of elastin-specific molecular MRI for the in vivo characterization of AAAs. Methods and results: To induce AAAs, ApoE(-/-) mice were infused with angiotensin-II. An elastin-specific magnetic resonance molecular imaging agent (ESMA) was administered after 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks of angiotensin-II infusion to assess elastin composition of the aorta (n=8 per group). The high signal provided by ESMA allowed for imaging with high spatial resolution, resulting in an accurate assessment of ruptured elastic laminae and the compensatory expression of elastic fibers. In vivo contrast-to-noise ratios and R1-relaxation rates after ESMA administration were in good agreement with ex vivo histomorphometry (Elastica van Gieson stain) and gadolinium concentrations determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Electron microscopy confirmed colocalization of ESMA with elastic fibers. Conclusions: Changes in elastin content could be readily delineated and quantified at different stages of AAAs by elastin-specific molecular magnetic resonance imaging. ESMA-MRI offers potential for the noninvasive detection of the aortic rupture site prior to dilation of the aorta and the subsequent in vivo monitoring of compensatory repair processes during the progression of AAAs.
    Preview · Article · May 2014 · Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · RöFo - Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der R
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    ABSTRACT: In the Western world and developing countries, cardiovascular diseases remain the primary cause of morbidity and mortality. The incidence of cardiovascular diseases is thought to be on the rise, due to an increase in risk factors (e.g. diabetes) and aging of the population. Currently, there is no established clinical method for the in vivo characterization of atherosclerotic plaques and the prediction of ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction and other clinical complications. In this article, we will introduce novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and discuss how these techniques are starting to replace currently established clinical imaging methods for the detection and characterization of atherosclerotic vessel wall changes.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2014

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
  • R.M. Botnar · M.R. Makowski
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity/mortality in the western world. Atherosclerotic plaques are the main culprit of myocardial infarction and stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging is an emerging clinical tool for the detection and characterization of atherosclerotic plaques. Target-specific molecular MR contrast agents allow the characterization of plaques on a molecular and cellular level. This chapter starts with an overview of the biological changes leading to atherosclerosis. The basic principles of molecular MR are discussed and different MR sequences are introduced. This chapter concludes with a discussion of clinically-feasible aortic, carotid and coronary MR imaging techniques.
    No preview · Chapter · Feb 2014
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in prevention, risk assessment and treatment, coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. The lion's share is due to acute coronary syndromes (ACS), which are predominantly triggered by plaque rupture or erosion and subsequent coronary thrombosis. As the majority of vulnerable plaques does not cause a significant stenosis, due to expansive remodeling, and are rather defined by their composition and biological activity, detection of vulnerable plaques with x-ray angiography has shown little success. Non-invasive vulnerable plaque detection by identifying biological features that have been associated with plaque progression, destabilization and rupture may therefore be more appropriate and may allow earlier detection, more aggressive treatment and monitoring of treatment response. MR molecular imaging with target specific molecular probes has shown great promise for the noninvasive in vivo visualization of biological processes at the molecular and cellular level in animals and humans. Compared to other imaging modalities; MRI can provide excellent spatial resolution; high soft tissue contrast and has the ability to simultaneously image anatomy; function as well as biological tissue composition and activity.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Molecules
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    Marcus R Makowski · René M Botnar
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world and developing countries. In clinical practice, in vivo characterization of atherosclerotic lesions causing myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and other complications remains challenging. Imaging methods, limited to the assessment luminal stenosis, are the current reference standard for the assessment of clinically significant coronary and carotid artery disease and the guidance of treatment. These techniques do not allow distinction between stable and potentially vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is a modality well suited for visualization and characterization of the relatively thin arterial vessel wall, because it allows imaging with high spatial resolution and excellent soft-tissue contrast. In clinical practice, atherosclerotic plaque components of the carotid artery and aorta may be differentiated and characterized by using unenhanced vessel wall MR imaging. Additional information can be gained by using clinically approved nonspecific contrast agents. With the advent of targeted MR contrast agents, which enhance specific molecules or cells, pathologic processes can be visualized at a molecular level with high spatial resolution. In this article, the pathophysiologic changes of the arterial vessel wall underlying the development of atherosclerosis will be first reviewed. Then basic principles and properties of molecular MR imaging contrast agents will be introduced. Additionally, recent advances in preclinical molecular vessel wall imaging will be reviewed. Finally, the clinical feasibility of arterial vessel wall imaging at unenhanced and contrast material-enhanced MR imaging of the aortic, carotid, and coronary vessel wall will be discussed. © RSNA, 2013 Supplemental material:
    Preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Radiology

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: To assess image quality and diagnostic performance of 3.0 Tesla (3T) cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) myocardial perfusion imaging with a dual radiofrequency source to detect functional relevant coronary artery disease (CAD), using coronary angiography and invasive pressure-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR) as reference standard. We included 116 patients with suspected or known CAD, who underwent 3T adenosine myocardial perfusion CMR (resolution 2.97 × 2.97 mm) and coronary angiography plus FFR measurements in intermediate lesions. Image quality of myocardial perfusion CMR was graded on a 4-point scale (1 = poor to 4 = excellent). Diagnostic accuracy was assessed by ROC analyses using a 16-myocardial segment-based summed perfusion score (0 = normal to 3 = transmural perfusion defect) and by determining sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value on the coronary vessel territory and the patient level. Diagnostic image quality was achieved for all stress myocardial perfusion CMR studies with an average quality score of 2.5, 3.1, and 3.0 for LAD, LCX, and RCA territories. The ability of the myocardial perfusion CMR perfusion score to detect significant coronary artery stenosis yielded an area under the curve of 0.93 on ROC analysis. Values for sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value on a vessel territory level and the patient level were 89, 95, 87, 96% and 85, 87, 77, 92%, respectively. In patients with suspected or known significant CAD, 3T myocardial perfusion CMR with standard perfusion protocols provides consistently high image quality and an excellent diagnostic performance.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: Chest pain associated with cocaine use represents an increasing problem in the emergency department (ED). Cocaine use has been linked to the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We used coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA) to evaluate the prevalence, severity and composition of atherosclerotic lesions in cocaine users. We studied 78 patients with non-occasional cocaine use (52 men, 44 ± 7 years, 23 under the acute influence) and acute chest pain but without ACS, who had undergone cCTA in the ED. Patients were matched one-to-one by gender, race, symptoms, and risk-factors with a control cohort (n = 78; 52 men, 45 ± 6 years) not using cocaine. Each coronary segment was evaluated for the presence and composition (calcified, non-calcified, partially calcified) of atherosclerotic plaque and for stenosis. The prevalence of coronary stenosis was not significantly different between patients with and without cocaine use (13% versus 5%, P > 0.05). However, cocaine users on average had significantly more atherosclerotic plaques (0.44 ± 0.88 versus 0.29 ± 0.83, P < 0.05) and a tendency towards more calcified (0.64 ± 1.23 versus 0.55 ± 1.22, P > 0.05) and non-calcified plaques (0.26 ± 0.63 versus 0.17 ± 0.57, P > 0.05), yet not reaching statistical significance. Furthermore, cocaine users had significantly more partially calcified plaques (0.41 ± 0.61 versus 0.17 ± 0.41, P < 0.05) and higher partially calcified plaque volume (59.7 ± 33.3 mm(3) versus 25.6 ± 12.6 mm(3), P < 0.05). Thus, cocaine users tend to have more pronounced coronary atherosclerosis compared to patients without cocaine use at the time of presentation with acute chest pain.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Atherosclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Performance evaluation of a fully automated system for calculating computed tomography (CT) coronary artery calcium scores from contrast medium-enhanced coronary CT angiography (cCTA) studies. Methods: One hundred and twenty-seven patients (58 ± 11 years, 71 men) who had undergone cCTA as well as an unenhanced CT calcium scoring study where included. Calcium scores were computed from cCTA by an automated image processing algorithm and compared with calcium scores obtained by standard manual assessment of unenhanced CT calcium scoring studies. Results were compared vis-a-vis (1) absolute calcium score values, (2) age-, gender- and race-dependent percentiles, and (3) commonly used calcium score risk classification categories. Results: One hundred and nineteen out of 127 (93.7%) studies were successfully processed. Mean Agatston calcium score values obtained by traditional non-contrast CT calcium scoring studies and derived from contrast medium-enhanced cCTA did not significantly differ (235.6 ± 430.5 vs 262.0 ± 499.5; P > 0.05). Calcium score risk categories and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) percentiles showed very high correlation (Spearman rank correlation coefficient = 0.97, P < 0.0001/0.95, P < 0.0001) between the two approaches. Conclusions: Calcium score values automatically computed from cCTA are highly correlated with standard unenhanced CT calcium scoring studies. These results suggest a radiation dose- and time-saving potential when deriving calcium scores from cCTA studies without a preceding unenhanced CT calcium scoring study.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · European Radiology
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • René M Botnar · Marcus R Makowski
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    ABSTRACT: Noninvasive imaging studies involving small animals are becoming increasingly important in preclinical pharmacological, genetic, and biomedical cardiovascular research. Especially small animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using high field and clinical MRI systems has gained significant importance in recent years. Compared to other imaging modalities, like computer tomography, MRI can provide an excellent soft tissue contrast, which enables the characterization of different kinds of tissues without the use of contrast agents. In addition, imaging can be performed with high spatial and temporal resolution. Small animal MRI cannot only provide anatomical information about the beating murine heart; it can also provide functional and molecular information, which makes it a unique imaging modality. Compared to clinical MRI examinations in humans, small animal MRI is associated with additional challenges. These included a smaller size of all cardiovascular structures and a up to ten times higher heart rate. Dedicated small animal monitoring devices make a reliable cardiac triggering and respiratory gating feasible. MRI in combination with molecular probes enables the noninvasive imaging of biological processes at a molecular level. Different kinds of iron oxide or gadolinium-based contrast agents can be used for this purpose. Compared to other molecular imaging modalities, like single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET), MRI can also provide imaging with high spatial resolution, which is of high importance for the assessment of the cardiovascular system. The sensitivity for detection of MRI contrast agents is however lower compared to sensitivity of radiation associated techniques like PET and SPECT. This chapter is divided into the following sections: (1) "Introduction," (2) "Principals of Magnetic Resonance Imaging," (3) "MRI Systems for Preclinical Imaging and Experimental Setup," and (4) "Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging."
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Progress in molecular biology and translational science

Publication Stats

497 Citations
245.67 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2015
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
    • Duke University
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2009-2013
    • King's College London
      • Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010-2012
    • ICL
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008-2009
    • University of Technology Munich
      • Nuklearmedizinische Klinik und Poliklinik
      München, Bavaria, Germany