The aim of this work is the development of coronary atherosclerosis T1-weighted characterization with integrated anatomicalreference (CATCH) technique and the validation by comparison with high-risk plaque features (HRPF) observed on intracoronary optical coherence tomography (OCT) and invasive coronary angiography.
T1-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance with or without contrast media has been used for characterizing coronaryatherosclerosis showing promising prognostic value. Several limitations include: 1) coverage is limited to proximal coronary segments; 2) spatial resolution is low and often anisotropic; and 3) a separate magnetic resonance angiography acquisition is needed to localize lesions.
CATCH acquired dark-blood T1-weighted images and bright-blood anatomical reference images in an interleaved fashion. Retrospective motion correction with 100% respiratory gating efficiency was achieved. Reference control subjects (n = 13) completed both pre- and post-contrast scans. Stable angina patients (n = 30) completed pre-contrast scans, among whom 26 eligible patients also completed post-contrast scans. After cardiac magnetic resonance, eligible patients (n = 22) underwent invasive coronary angiography and OCT for the interrogation of coronary atherosclerosis. OCT images were assessed and scored for HRPF (lipid-richness, macrophages, cholesterol crystals, and microvessels) by 2 experienced analysts blinded to magnetic resonance results.
Per-subject analysis showed none of the 13 reference control subjects had coronary hyperintensive plaques (CHIP) in either pre-contrast or post-contrast CATCH. Five patients had CHIP on pre-contrast CATCH and 5 patients had CHIP on post-contrast CATCH. Patients with CHIP had greater lipid abnormality than those without. Per-segment analysis showed elevated pre- and post-contrast plaque to myocardium signal ratio in the lesions with HRPF versus those without. Positive correlation was observed between plaque to myocardium signal ratio and OCT HRPF scoring. CHIP on pre-contrast CATCH were associated with significantly higher stenosis level than non-CHIP on invasive coronary angiography.
CATCH provided accelerated whole heart coronary plaque characterization with simultaneously acquired anatomicalreference. CHIP detected by CATCH showed positive association with high-risk plaque features on invasive imaging studies.