13 March 2006 Quantitative evaluation of carotid arterial plaque surface irregularity
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Recent studies have demonstrated that atherosclerotic plaque surface morphology in the carotid arterial system represents an independent risk factor for embolus formation and subsequent cerebrovascular occlusive events. The primary aim of the current retrospective study is to enhance the clinical utility of this key finding by developing and evaluating objective, quantitative methods for characterizing plaque surface irregularity from Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) studies. Nine metrics were analyzed for correlation with percent stenosis in 78 arteries from 43 patients with carotid artery disease. Most of the metrics comprised measurements obtained from a surface model of the stenotic lesion derived from the MRA via the Marching Cubes algorithm with application of the Isosurface Deformable Model. Percent stenosis was determined through real-time volume rendering of 3D MIP MRA studies in Vitrea2. Six of the analyzed metrics revealed significant correlation to percent stenosis (p<0.01). Reproducibility of all metrics was evaluated in a set of 14 randomly selected arteries from 13 patients by way of a single-trial, two-observer analysis. Six of the nine metrics demonstrated significant inter-observer reproducibility by way of single-factor ANOVA analysis (p<0.02). Collectively, the findings reported herein demonstrate an objective and reliable method for quantifying carotid plaque surface irregularity from standard MRA techniques with possible future clinical application in refining risk of ischemic cerebrovascular events and associated need for prophylactic intervention.
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Joshua Robinson, Joshua Robinson, Lucy S. Brevetti, Lucy S. Brevetti, Peter J. Yim, Peter J. Yim, } "Quantitative evaluation of carotid arterial plaque surface irregularity", Proc. SPIE 6143, Medical Imaging 2006: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, 61430A (13 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.651092; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.651092

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