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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Jul;26(7):1601-6. Epub 2006 Apr 20.

Identifying inflamed carotid plaques using in vivo USPIO-enhanced MR imaging to label plaque macrophages.

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  • 1University Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK. rt256@radiol.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inflammation within atherosclerotic lesions contributes to plaque instability and vulnerability to rupture. We set out to evaluate the use of a macrophage labeling agent to identify carotid plaque inflammation by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Thirty patients with symptomatic severe carotid stenosis scheduled for carotid endarterectomy underwent multi-sequence MRI of the carotid bifurcation before and after injection of ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIOs). USPIO particles accumulated in macrophages in 24 of 30 plaques (80%). Areas of signal intensity reduction, corresponding to USPIO/macrophage-positive histological sections, were visualized in 24 of 27 (89%) patients, with an average reduction in signal intensity induced by the USPIO particles of 24% (range, 3.1% to 60.8%).

CONCLUSIONS:

USPIO-enhanced MRI can identify plaque inflammation in vivo by accumulation of USPIO within macrophages in carotid plaques.

PMID:
16627809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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