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ISRN Cardiology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 180710, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/180710
Review Article

Carotid Artery Disease and Stroke: Assessing Risk with Vessel Wall MRI

1Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
2VPDiagnostics Incorporation, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

Received 26 August 2012; Accepted 3 October 2012

Academic Editors: A. Becker, F. Quaini, and J. J. van Lieshout

Copyright © 2012 William S. Kerwin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Although MRI is widely used to diagnose stenotic carotid arteries, it also detects characteristics of the atherosclerotic plaque itself, including its size, composition, and activity. These features are emerging as additional risk factors for stroke that can be feasibly acquired clinically. This paper summarizes the state of evidence for a clinical role for MRI of carotid atherosclerosis.