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Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2007 Aug;23(4):519-27. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Experimental evaluation of the detectability of submillimeter atherosclerotic lesions in ex vivo human iliac arteries with ultrahigh-field (7.0 T) magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, German Heart Institute Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany. jahnke@dhzb.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To evaluate the ability of ultrahigh-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to accurately depict the composition of the human arterial vessel wall ex vivo and to detect early atherosclerotic lesion formation in comparison to histology.

METHODS:

Eight iliac artery specimens with low-grade atherosclerotic lesions obtained from human organ donors were studied. Three-dimensional, high-resolution MRI (spatial resolution: 79 x 79 x 109 microm) was performed using T1-, T2- and proton density (PD)-weightings (7.0 Tesla MR system, Bruker Pharmascan). A total of 36 MR slices and corresponding histological sections were matched for comparative evaluation of area measurements of lumen, media and adventitia and--if present--plaque size. Statistical correlation between histology and MR measurements was tested and a ROC-analysis was performed to determine the plaque size being predictive of correctly identifying atherosclerotic lesions with MRI.

RESULTS:

The areas of vessel lumen and media as measured on T1-, T2- and PD-weighted MR images showed a strong correlation with the corresponding histological measurements (r = 0.84 to r = 0.89; P < 0.01), however, a systematic overestimation of 34-41% was found. For the area of adventitia, only a moderate, though significant, correlation (r = 0.55 to r = 0.62; P < 0.01) could be demonstrated with a similar overestimation by MRI (38-43%). With T1-weighted MRI, sensitivity and specificity for the detection of plaques > 4.0 mm(2) were 79% and 91%, respectively. With T2- and PD-weighted MRI, however, sensitivity and specificity for the detection of plaques > 0.4 mm2 were 93% and 89%.

CONCLUSIONS:

In an experimental ex vivo setting, ultrahigh-field MRI of the human arterial vessel wall resulted in an accurate visualization of vessel wall composition when compared to histology and, thus, allowed for a quantitative assessment. T2- and PD-weighted MRI proved capable of reliably detecting submillimeter atherosclerotic lesions.

PMID:
17109199
DOI:
10.1007/s10554-006-9185-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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