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MR Imaging of Vulnerable Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques

  • Chin Lik Tan
  • Rohitashwa Sinha
  • Karol Budohoski
  • Rikin A. Trivedi

Abstract

Carotid artery atherosclerosis is a major cause of stroke. It has been traditionally thought that luminal stenosis secondary to the presence of atherosclerotic plaques reduces blood flow along the carotid arteries, leading to cerebral ischaemia and infarction. However, recent advances have shown that atherosclerotic plaques which carry a high risk of developing complications, i.e. ‘vulnerable plaques’, display certain features which can be identified by various imaging techniques. Specifically, a variety of MRI sequences and modalities have been employed to recognise characteristics of fibrous cap, lipid-rich necrotic core, inflammation and biomechanical stress. They have been shown to be linked to the disease progression of atherosclerotic plaques, as well as the improvement following treatment. This chapter reviews the use of MRI in the investigation of carotid artery disease and the identification of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.

Keywords

MRI Carotid Atherosclerotic plaque 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chin Lik Tan
    • 1
  • Rohitashwa Sinha
    • 1
  • Karol Budohoski
    • 1
  • Rikin A. Trivedi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK

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