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13 March 2009 Reliability of vascular geometry factors derived from clinical MRA
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Recent work from our group has demonstrated that the amount of disturbed flow at the carotid bifurcation, believed to be a local risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis, can be predicted from luminal geometric factors. The next step along the way to a large-scale retrospective or prospective imaging study of such local risk factors for atherosclerosis is to investigate whether these geometric features are reproducible and accurate from routine 3D contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CEMRA) using a fast and practical method of extraction. Motivated by this fact, we examined the reproducibility of multiple geometric features that are believed important in atherosclerosis risk assessment. We reconstructed three-dimensional carotid bifurcations from 15 clinical study participants who had previously undergone baseline and repeat CEMRA acquisitions. Certain geometric factors were extracted and compared between the baseline and the repeat scan. As the spatial resolution of the CEMRA data was noticeably coarse and anisotropic, we also investigated whether this might affect the measurement of the same geometric risk factors by simulating the CEMRA acquisition for 15 normal carotid bifurcations previously acquired at high resolution. Our results show that the extracted geometric factors are reproducible and faithful, with intra-subject uncertainties well below inter-subject variabilities. More importantly, these geometric risk factors can be extracted consistently and quickly for potential use as disturbed flow predictors.
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Payam B. Bijari, Luca Antiga, and David A. Steinman "Reliability of vascular geometry factors derived from clinical MRA", Proc. SPIE 7261, Medical Imaging 2009: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling, 72612X (13 March 2009);

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