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12 September 2014 Carotid plaque characterization using CT and MRI scans for synergistic image analysis
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Noninvasive determination of plaque vulnerability has been a holy grail of medical imaging. Despite advances in tomographic technologies , there is currently no effective way to identify vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques with high sensitivity and specificity. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are widely used, but neither provides sufficient information of plaque properties. Thus, we are motivated to combine CT and MRI imaging to determine if the composite information can better reflect the histological determination of plaque vulnerability. Two human endarterectomy specimens (1 symptomatic carotid and 1 stable femoral) were imaged using Scanco Medical Viva CT40 and Bruker Pharmascan 16cm 7T Horizontal MRI / MRS systems. μCT scans were done at 55 kVp and tube current of 70 mA. Samples underwent RARE-VTR and MSME pulse sequences to measure T1, T2 values, and proton density. The specimens were processed for histology and scored for vulnerability using the American Heart Association criteria. Single modality-based analyses were performed through segmentation of key imaging biomarkers (i.e. calcification and lumen), image registration, measurement of fibrous capsule, and multi-component T1 and T2 decay modeling. Feature differences were analyzed between the unstable and stable controls, symptomatic carotid and femoral plaque, respectively. By building on the techniques used in this study, synergistic CT+MRI analysis may provide a promising solution for plaque characterization in vivo.
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Matthew Getzin, Yiqin Xu, Arhant Rao, Saaussan Madi, Ali Bahadur, Michelle R. Lennartz, and Ge Wang "Carotid plaque characterization using CT and MRI scans for synergistic image analysis", Proc. SPIE 9212, Developments in X-Ray Tomography IX, 92121B (12 September 2014);

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