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J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2010 Jul 1;12:37. doi: 10.1186/1532-429X-12-37.

The association of lesion eccentricity with plaque morphology and components in the superficial femoral artery: a high-spatial-resolution, multi-contrast weighted CMR study.

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Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



Atherosclerotic plaque morphology and components are predictors of subsequent cardiovascular events. However, associations of plaque eccentricity with plaque morphology and plaque composition are unclear. This study investigated associations of plaque eccentricity with plaque components and morphology in the proximal superficial femoral artery using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR).


Twenty-eight subjects with an ankle-brachial index less than 1.00 were examined with 1.5 T high-spatial-resolution, multi-contrast weighted CMR. One hundred and eighty diseased locations of the proximal superficial femoral artery (about 40 mm) were analyzed. The eccentric lesion was defined as [(Maximum wall thickness- Minimum wall thickness)/Maximum wall thickness] >or= 0.5. The arterial morphology and plaque components were measured using semi-automatic image analysis software.


One hundred and fifteen locations were identified as eccentric lesions and sixty-five as concentric lesions. The eccentric lesions had larger wall but similar lumen areas, larger mean and maximum wall thicknesses, and more calcification and lipid rich necrotic core, compared to concentric lesions. For lesions with the same lumen area, the degree of eccentricity was associated with an increased wall area. Eccentricity (dichotomous as eccentric or concentric) was independently correlated with the prevalence of calcification (odds ratio 3.78, 95% CI 1.47-9.70) after adjustment for atherosclerotic risk factors and wall area.


Plaque eccentricity is associated with preserved lumen size and advanced plaque features such as larger plaque burden, more lipid content, and increased calcification in the superficial femoral artery.

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