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Eur Radiol. 2009 Jun;19(6):1470-9. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1295-8. Epub 2009 Feb 13.

Carotid intima-media thickness and distensibility measured by MRI at 3 T versus high-resolution ultrasound.

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Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


We evaluated an MRI protocol at 3 T for the assessment of morphological and functional properties of the common carotid artery (CCA) in 32 healthy volunteers and 20 patients with high-grade internal carotid artery stenosis. Wall thickness of the CCA was measured by using multislice 2D T2 dark blood fast spin echo sequences and compared with intima-media thickness (IMT) determined by ultrasound. Carotid distensibility coefficient (DC) quantified by blood pressure and CCA diameter change during the cardiac cycle was measured by ECG gated 3D T1 CINE MRI and M-mode ultrasound. Apart from generally higher values in MRI high agreement was found for wall thickness and compliance in volunteers and patients. Remaining differences between both methods may be attributed to slightly different methods for measuring IMT and DC. Our findings indicate that MRI at 3 T is a feasible and promising tool for the comprehensive assessment of normal carotid geometry and function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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