Detection of thrombus size and protein content by ex vivo magnetization transfer and diffusion weighted MRI

Alkystis Phinikaridou, Ye Qiao, Nick Giordano, James A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: To utilize a rabbit model of plaque disruption to assess the accuracy of different magnetic resonance sequences [T1-weighted (T1W), T2-weighted (T2W), magnetization transfer (MT) and diffusion weighting (DW)] at 11.7 T for the ex vivo detection of size and composition of thrombus associated with disrupted plaques. Methods: Atherosclerosis was induced in the aorta of male New Zealand White rabbits (n = 17) by endothelial denudation and high-cholesterol diet. Subsequently, plaque disruption was induced by pharmacological triggering. Segments of infra-renal aorta were excised fixed in formalin and examined by ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 11.7 T and histology. Results: MRI at 11.7 T showed that: (i) magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) and diffusion weighted images (DWI) detected thrombus with higher sensitivity compared to T1W and T2W images [sensitivity: MTC = 88.2%, DWI = 76.5%, T1W = 66.6% and T2W = 43.7%, p≥0.001]. Similarly, the contrast-to-noise (CNR) between the thrombus and the underlying plaque was superior on the MTC and DWI images [CNR: MTC = 8.5 ± 1.1, DWI = 6.0 ± 0.8, T1W = 1.8 ± 0.5, T2W = 3.0 ± 1.0, P≥0.001]; (ii) MTC and DWI provided a more accurate detection of thrombus area with histology as the gold-standard [underestimation of 6% (MTC) and 17.6% (DWI) compared to an overestimation of thrombus area of 53.7% and 46.4% on T1W and T2W images, respectively]; (iii) the percent magnetization transfer rate (MTR) correlated with the fibrin (r = 0.73, P = 0.003) and collagen (r = 0.9, P = 0.004) content of the thrombus. Conclusions: The conspicuity of the thrombus was increased on MTC and DW compared to T1W and T2W images. Changes in the %MTR and apparent diffusion coefficient can be used to identify the organization stage of the thrombus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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