- Oral presentation
- Open Access
High resolution 3D diffusion MRI of carotid plaque on 3T
© Xie et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
- Published: 16 January 2014
- Carotid Plaque
- Excellent Image Quality
- Carotid Arterial Wall
- Suboptimal Image Quality
- Atherosclerosis Subject
Diffusion MRI (DWI and ADC) has been shown to provide excellent contrast for characterizing carotid plaque components such as necrotic lipid core and intraplaque hemorrhage ex vivo  and in vivo . However, conventional 2D EPI-based methods have suboptimal image quality and limited spatial resolution leading to difficulties in ADC calculation, limiting the clinical utility of this technique. The purpose of this work is to develop a new diffusion imaging method for carotid plaque characterization that (1) allows 3D imaging; (2) improves spatial resolution (0.6 × 0.6 × 2 mm3); and (3) provides consistent and high image quality.
Diffusion weighting was introduced with a separate diffusion preparation module from readout, allowing multi-shot high resolution 3D imaging. Readout was designed based on 3D TSE for good and consistent image quality at 3T. Reduced field-of-view with inner-volume refocusing was developed to reduce TSE scan time by 67%. Bipolar diffusion sensitizing gradients were used to compensate first-order motion and minimize eddy currents. Arterial blood was suppressed with DIR for better vessel wall delineation. Six healthy and two atherosclerosis subjects were scanned on a 3T scanner (Siemens Verio) with the following parameters: pulse-triggered; 3D transverse slab with in-plane resolution = 0.6 × 0.6 mm2; slice thickness = 2 mm; b = 30 and 300 s/mm2 along the slice direction; total scan time = 5.5' ± 0.6'.
Diffusion-prepared TSE allows, for the first time, 3D diffusion imaging of the carotid arterial wall in vivo with high spatial resolution and excellent image quality. It has the potential to detect vulnerable carotid plaque components such as lipid-rich necrotic core in vivo without the use of the contrast media.
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