E-ISSN 1305-3612
1 Department of Radiology, Changhai Hospital of Shanghai, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China  
Diagn Interv Radiol ; : -



Purpose: To evaluate the interscan, intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility of basilar atherosclerotic plaque employing dark blood high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI) at 3 Tesla.


Methods: Sixteen patients (fourteen males and two females) with >30% basilar stenosis as identified by conventional magnetic resonance angiography were prospectively recruited for scan and rescan examinations on a 3 Tesla MRI system using T2 weighted turbo spin echo protocol. Two independent observers independently measured the areas of vessels and lumens. Wall area was derived by subtracting the lumen area from the vessel area. Areas of vessels, lumens and walls were compared for the evaluation of interscan variability of basilar plaque. To assess the intraobserver variability, one observer reevaluated all the images of the first scan with a 4-week interval.


Results: Fourteen patients were included in the final analysis. No clinically significant difference was observed for interscan, intraobserver and interobserver measurements. The intraclass correlations for vessel, lumen and wall areas were excellent and ranged from 0.973 to 0.981 for the interscan measurements, 0.997 to 0.998 for the intraobserver measurements and 0.979 to 0.985 for the interobserver measurements. The coefficients of variation for quantitative basilar morphology measurements were ranged from 4.31%-10.35% for the interscan measurements, 1.41%-4.62% for the intraobserver measurements and 3.79%-8.46% for the interobserver measurements. Compared with the interscan and interobserver measurements, narrow intervals of the scatterplots were observed for the intraobserver measurements by Bland-Altman plots.


Conclusion: Basilar atherosclerotic plaque imaging demonstrates an excellent reproducibility at 3 Tesla. The study proves that dark blood HR-MRI may server as a reliable tool for clinical studies focused on the progression and treatment response of basilar atherosclerosis.

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