PURPOSE: Currently, a multi-contrast protocol, including a combination of five MR-sequences is used as reference standard for morphologic imaging and quantitative measurements of the carotid artery vessel wall. The purpose of this study is to investigate the scan-rescan reproducibility together with intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of each of the five MR-sequences. METHODS: Twenty healthy volunteers (55% male, mean age=26 years) underwent repeated MR-examinations (3T-Philips-MRI) of the left carotid artery vessel wall with five sequences; T1-TFE, T2-TSE, PD-TSE, T1-TSE and 3D TOF. A standard phased-array coil with two flexible elements of 14cmx17cm was used to obtain nine transverse imaging sections of the left carotid artery with identical in-plane resolution (0.46mmx0.46mm). Reproducibility analysis was performed in 3 slices of the common carotid artery for all sequences. RESULTS: For, scan-rescan reproducibility, intra class correlation coefficients (ICC) were excellent for all sequences and ranged from 0.79 to 0.95. The intra-observer ICC ranged from 0.89 to 0.98 and the inter-observer ICC ranged from 0.84 to 0.96, for both lumen and vessel wall assessment. CONCLUSIONS: By high field MR imaging, vessel wall and lumen area of the carotid artery can be assessed with excellent scan-rescan, intra- and inter-observer reproducibility for all five sequences.
Kroner, E. S., Westenberg, J. J., van der Geest, R. J., Brouwer, N. J., Doornbos, J., Kooi, M. E., van der Wall, E. E., Lamb, H. J., & Siebelink, H. J. (2013). High field carotid vessel wall imaging: A study on reproducibility. European Journal of Radiology, 82(4), 680-685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2012.11.028