Neurointervention.  2014 Feb;9(1):9-20. 10.5469/neuroint.2014.9.1.9.

High-Resolution MRI of Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

  • 1Department of Radiology, Gangdong Kyung Hee University Hospital, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Jeonbuk National University Hospital, College of Medicine, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.


Intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) causes up to 10% of all ischemic strokes, and the rate of recurrent vascular ischemic events is very high. Important predictors of vulnerability in atherosclerotic plaques include the degree of stenosis and the underlying plaque morphology. Vascular wall MRI can provide information about wall structures and atherosclerotic plaque components. High-resolution (HR)-MRI in ICAD poses a greater challenge in the neurologic fields, because a high in-plane resolution and a high signal-to-noise ratio are required for vessel wall imaging of ICAD. Until now, plaque imaging of ICAD has focused on assessing the presence of a plaque and evaluating the plaque load. Going forward, evaluation of plaque vulnerability through analysis of imaging characteristics will be a critical area of research. This review introduces the acquisition protocol for HR-MRI in ICAD and the current issues associated with imaging.


Intracranial atherosclerotic disease; Atherosclerosis; Cerebral arteries; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Vessel wall imaging
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