Purpose: To examine the impact of spatial resolution and respiratory motion on the ability to accurately measure atherosclerotic plaque burden and to visually identify atherosclerotic plaque composition. Materials and Methods: Numerical simulations of the Bloch equations and vessel wall phantom studies were performed for different spatial resolutions by incrementally increasing the field of view. In addition, respiratory motion was simulated based on a measured physiologic breathing pattern. Results: While a spatial resolution of ≥6 pixels across the wall does not result in significant errors, a resolution of ≤4 pixels across the wall leads to an overestimation of >20%. Using a double-inversion T2-weighted turbo spin echo sequence, a resolution of 1 pixel across equally thick tissue layers (fibrous cap, lipid, smooth muscle) and a respiratory motion correction precision (gating window) of three times the thickness of the tissue layer allow for characterization of the different coronary wall components. Conclusions: We found that measurements in low-resolution black blood images tend to overestimate vessel wall area and underestimate lumen area.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Vessel lumen
- Vessel wall
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging