[State of the art: high resolution MR imaging of carotid atherosclerotic plaque]

J Radiol. 2010 Feb;91(2):185-94. doi: 10.1016/s0221-0363(10)70023-8.
[Article in French]


A third of cerebrovascular accidents are a complication from carotid artery plaque. In addition to the degree of stenosis, plaque composition and morphology are key elements in determining the probability of complication from the atherosclerotic plaque. High resolution MRI can characterize plaque composition and morphology and therefore help identify unstable plaque. The purpose of this review is to summarize recent concepts on unstable plaque and underlying inflammation. The signal characteristics of the different components of plaque on high resolution MRI then be reviewed. Finally, current morphological and functional criteria for unstable plaque will be discussed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*