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Keywords:

  • DCE-MRI;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • neovascularization;
  • reproducibility

Abstract

Purpose:

To investigate the short-term reproducibility of black-blood dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in atherosclerotic rabbits to evaluate the potential of this technique to be a reliable readout of plaque progression and/or regression upon therapeutic intervention.

Materials and Methods:

Atherosclerotic rabbits were imaged at baseline and 24 hours later with DCE-MRI on a 1.5T MRI system. DCE-MRI images were analyzed by calculating the area under the signal intensity versus time curve (AUC). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to evaluate interscan, intraobserver, and interobserver reproducibility. In addition, the test–retest coefficient of variation (CoV) was evaluated.

Results:

Statistical analyses showed excellent interscan, intraobserver, and interobserver agreement. All ICCs were greater than 0.75, P < 0.01 indicating excellent agreement between measurements.

Conclusion:

Experimental results show good interscan and excellent intra- and interobserver reproducibility, suggesting that DCE-MRI could be used in preclinical settings as a read-out for novel therapeutic interventions for atherosclerosis. This preliminary work encourages investigating the reproducibility of DCE-MRI also in clinical settings, where it could be used for monitoring high-risk patients and in longitudinal clinical drug trials. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2010;32:191–198. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.