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Study to Investigate the Sensitivity and Specificity of 3.0 Tesla MRI for Carotid Artery Plaque

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified May 2012 by E.S.stroes, Academisch Medisch Centrum - Universiteit van Amsterdam (AMC-UvA).
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
E.S.stroes, Academisch Medisch Centrum - Universiteit van Amsterdam (AMC-UvA) Identifier:
First received: October 13, 2011
Last updated: July 19, 2012
Last verified: May 2012
The aim of this study is to develop non-invasive MRI, and MRS approaches that will quantify the plaque composition and lipid content of plaques and will have the potential for repeated in vivo measurements. To investigate sensitivity and specificity of 3.0 Tesla MRI and MRS for dimension and composition assessment of carotid artery plaques, in particularly those plaques with lipid rich necrotic cores. This non-invasive cross-sectional study, compares carotid parameters of in-vivo 3.0 Tesla MRI, MRS and B-mode ultrasound with histology specimens collected at endarterectomy.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Study to Investigate the Sensitivity and Specificity of 3.0 Tesla MRI, MRS and Ultrasound Imaging for Carotid Artery Plaque Dimension and Composition Assessment

Further study details as provided by E.S.stroes, Academisch Medisch Centrum - Universiteit van Amsterdam (AMC-UvA):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Plaque characteristics as assessed by 3.0 Tesla MRI. [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    Total plaque volume, plaque calcification volume, plaque haemorrhage volume, lipid rich necrotic core volume, fibrous cap thickness, as assessed by 3.0 Tesla MRI

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Water and lipid content of the plaque as assessed by MRS/3.0T MRI [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    The ratio of the integrated lipid peak versus the unsuppressed water peak (expressed as a percentage), as assessed by MRS.

  • Plaque composition and size as assessed by histological analysis [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    Plaque size, morphology and phenotype (presence of collagen, smooth muscle cells, calcifications, macrophages, thrombus and fat), as assessed by histology analysis.

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: July 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Patients with ≥70% carotid artery stenosis

Detailed Description:

Atherosclerosis is a protracted and in fact lifelong progressive disease. Over time, lipids accumulate in the artery wall forming fatty streaks, which eventually can develop into atherosclerotic plaques (1). The later stages of the process, from quiescent atherosclerotic plaque to an active plaque, have a high risk of triggering acute vascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke (1).

Much effort has been put in the development of novel drugs aimed to prevent cardiovascular disease. Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering drugs, in particularly statins, play a pivotal role. The hypothesis that serum lipid lowering results in decrease of lipid accumulation in the arterial wall and thus atherogenesis, has formed the basis for successful drug developing strategies (1;2).

To draw valid conclusions on determinants of disease and effectiveness of lipid modifying therapeutic intervention, imaging of atherosclerosis can be used as a validated tool to assess efficacy of novel compounds (3;4).

Although imaging arterial wall dimensions by B-mode ultrasound and intra-vascular ultrasound have proven their value, longitudinal data of the effects of cardiovascular drugs on arterial wall and plaque composition, in particular of vulnerable plaques with lipid rich necrotic cores (LRNC), are scarce.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) are non-invasive imaging modalities that can potentially image plaque composition in-vivo in human carotid arteries. MRI image acquisition at various weightings enables visualisation of plaque composition. Calcification, haemorrhage, fibrous cap and lipid rich necrotic cores can readily be distinguished, providing information on plaque vulnerability. MRS gives a spectrum of resonances, affording detection of specific chemical components through their inherent frequency shift relative to water (5). In image guided MRS, an MR image can be utilized to image and localize a plaque. Proton spectra can then be collected from these plaques, such that the specific proton resonances of lipid components in a mobile state, including cholesterol ester (CE), can be identified (6).


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients with ≥70% carotid artery stenosis on clinical ultrasound duplex examination, scheduled for endarterectomy in the Athero-Express study.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients are to meet the inclusion criteria of the Athero-Express study.
  • These patients are eligible to undergo carotid endarterectomy in either the St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein.
  • Willing and able to undergo non-invasive MRI, MRS and ultrasound examinations in the Academic Hospital Center, Amsterdam.
  • Signed informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients not suitable for MRI (e.g. metal in the body, as a result of pacemaker or artificial cardiac valves); claustrophobia; surgery performed in the neck area of the carotid measurements.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01632254

Contact: Erik Stroes, MD PhD +31205666612
Contact: Diederik van Wijk, MD +31205662377

Academic Medical Center Recruiting
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1105AZ
Contact: Erik Stroes, MD PhD    +31205666612   
Contact: Diederik van Wijk, MD    +31205662377   
Principal Investigator: Erik Stroes, MD PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Academisch Medisch Centrum - Universiteit van Amsterdam (AMC-UvA)
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: E.S.stroes, MD PhD, Academisch Medisch Centrum - Universiteit van Amsterdam (AMC-UvA) Identifier: NCT01632254     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TIP-H
Study First Received: October 13, 2011
Last Updated: July 19, 2012

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Carotid Stenosis
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Carotid Artery Diseases
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases processed this record on September 21, 2017