Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequences have been used to characterize intracranial atherosclerotic plaques. True validation of these MR sequences, however, can only be established with histology. Combining histologic imaging with MR imaging makes it possible to correlate MR signal intensity differences within atherosclerotic plaques with the clearly defined features seen in histology.
Ultrahigh-resolution 7 tesla (7T) MRI has been used for the
ex vivo imaging of the circle of Willis and to locate atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries (Figure 1). These plaques are further analysed using MR sequences with a high spatial resolution, to obtain detailed images that will be used for the correlation with histology images (Figure 2).
Atherosclerotic plaques were then dissected from the artery and processed for histologic staining methodology. Tissue sections were histologically stained with the principal haematoxylin-eosin stain and imaged using optical microscopy (Figure 3). This image shows an advanced atherosclerotic plaque with the occurrence of an intraplaque haemorrhage (arrow). The intraplaque haemorrhage can been seen as a strong eosinophilic area within the histologic image, and the arrow in the MR image (Figure 2) indicates the overlapping site.
Ultrahigh-resolution 7T MR imaging enables the characterization of atherosclerotic plaque components associated with advanced atherosclerosis (
van der Kolk et al., 2015).
A.G. van der Kolk, J.J.M. Zwanenburg, N.P. Denswil, A. Vink, W.G.M. Spliet, M.J.A.P. Daemen, F. Visser, D.W.J. Klomp, P.R. Luijten and J. Hendrikse,
Imaging the intracranial atherosclerotic vessel wall using 7.0 Tesla MRI: Method development and initial comparison with histopathology, American Journal of Neuroradiology, 2014, 36: 694-701. A.A. Harteveld, N.P. Denswil, J.C.W. Siero, J.J.M. Zwanenburg, A. Vink, W.G.M. Spliet, D.W.J. Klomp, P.R. Luijten, M.J.A.P. Daemen, J. Hendrikse and A.G. van der Kolk, Ex vivo quantitative intracranial atherosclerotic plaque characterization at 7.0 tesla MRI with histological validation,
Accepted in American Journal of Neuroradiology.