Changes of Atherosclerotic Plaque in Cerebral Artery Stenosis According to High-Resolution MR Imaging

Tomography. 2022 Jun 27;8(4):1690-1701. doi: 10.3390/tomography8040141.


Atherosclerosis can affect multiple arteries, and result in stroke and heart disease. Clinical and conventional imaging is insufficient to predict the progression of atherosclerosis. This study investigates risk factors that rely on high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI). Patients with cerebral artery stenosis who had undergone HR-MRI at least twice were included. The demographics, risk factors, and proportion of patients with cerebral artery stenosis were investigated. The association between atherosclerotic plaque characteristics and the progression or regression of artery stenosis was also analyzed. A total of 42 patients were analyzed, with a median follow-up of 16.88 ± 12.53 months. The mean age of all subjects was 63.1 ± 9.15 years, and 83.3% of them were male. The incidences of stenosis of the basilar, proximal internal carotid, and middle cerebral arteries were 21.4%, 61.9%, and 16.7%, respectively. Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) was detected in 20 (47.6%) patients. Multivariate analysis showed that age (odds ratio (OR), 0.87; p = 0.014), smoking (OR, 0.11; p = 0.033), and IPH regression (OR, 10.13; p = 0.027) were associated with stenosis regression. The progression of IPH (OR, 115.80; p = 0.007) was associated with stenosis progression. Results suggest that IPH on HR-MRI is associated with changes in cerebral atherosclerotic stenosis.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; magnetic resonance imaging; plaque; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis* / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis* / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis* / pathology
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / complications
  • Constriction, Pathologic / complications
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Malformations* / complications
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic* / complications
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic* / pathology

Grants and funding

This study was supported by IL-YANG Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and a grant of the Medical data-driven hospital support project through the Korea Health Information Service (KHIS), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.