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Carotid artery stenting (CAS) requires adequate follow-up imaging to assess complications such as in-stent stenosis or occlusion. Options include digital subtraction angiography, CT angiography, ultrasound, and MR angiography (MRA), which may offer a non-invasive option for CAS follow-up imaging. The aim of this study was to assess contrast-enhanced MRA (CE-MRA) and three-dimensional time-of-flight MRA (3D-TOF) for visualization of the in-stent lumen in different carotid stents.
In this study, we compared CE-MRA and 3D-TOF of five different carotid stents (Guidant Acculink(R), Cordis Precise(R), Boston Wallstent(R), Abbot Vascular Xact(R), Cook Zilver(R)) in three diameters (4, 6, and 8 mm) using a vascular flow model at 3.0 T with the help of a recently developed carotid surface coil. Stent-related artifacts were objectively assessed by calculating artificial lumen narrowing (ALN) and relative in-stent signal (RIS).
RIS and ALN depended heavily on stent type, stent diameter, and the employed MR sequence. ALN and RIS were relatively favorable for Acculink(R), Precise(R), and Zilver(R) stents with both CE-MRA and 3D-TOF. CE-MRA provided better results for the Wallstent, while the Xact stent was difficult to visualize with both MRA protocols.
Both CE-MRA and 3D-TOF are viable options for depicting the in-stent lumen in carotid stents. For specific stents, 3D-TOF provided image quality comparable to CE-MRA and may thus be suitable for in vivo assessment. Development of stent-specific pathways for follow-up imaging seems advisable to address stent-related differences in image quality.
Department of Neuroradiology, University of Göttingen Medical School, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075, Göttingen, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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