The thoracic aortic wall is a common site of atherosclerotic plaque in humans. Tools for serial, non-invasive assessment of these plaques are of value for addressing gaps in our basic understanding of the biology of plaque rupture and its relationship to atherosclerotic disease progression as well as for monitoring response to anti-atherosclerotic interventions in therapeutic clinical trials. Common approaches to assessment of the wall of the thoracic aorta in vivo are limited. Here we discuss some of the challenges and limitations encountered by conventional techniques and review a novel approach, transesophageal MRI (TEMRI). Initial experiences in applying the TEMRI approach to assessment of aortic morphology and pathology are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine