A comparison study between 3D T2-weighted SPACE and conventional 2D T2-weighted turbo spin echo in assessment of carotid plaque

Original Paper


The aim of this study was to compare 3D T2-weighted sampling perfection with application optimized contrast using different flip angle evolutions (T2w SPACE) with conventional 2D T2w turbo-spin echo (TSE) in plaque imaging of carotid artery. 45 patients underwent 3.0-T MRI for carotid arteries imaging. MR sequences included T2w SPACE, T2w TSE, Time of flight (TOF) and T1-weighted (T1w) TSE. The signal intensity of intra-plaque hemorrhage (IPH), lipid-rich necrotic core (LRNC), and loose matrix (LM) were measured and their contrast ratios (CRs) against adjacent muscle were calculated. CRs from T2w SPACE and T2w TSE were compared to each other. CRs of LM, LRNC, and IPH measured on T2w SPACE were 1.74–3.04 (2.44), 0.98–1.66 (1.39), and 1.91–2.93 (2.51), respectively. CRs of LM, LRNC, and IPH on T2w TSE were 1.97–3.41 (2.44), 1.18–1.73 (1.43), and 2.26–3.75 (2.26), respectively. There was no significant difference of CR of the carotid plaques between T2w SPACE and T2w TSE (p = 0.455). Markedly significant differences of CRs were found between LM and LRNC (p < 0.001), and between LRNC and IPH (p < 0.001) on T2w SPACE and T2w TSE. T2w SPACE was comparable with conventional T2w TSE in characterization of carotid plaque.


Carotid artery Plaque Atherosclerosis Magnetic resonance imaging 



The funding was provided by Dalian Municipal Science and Technology Plan Project (Grant No. c2015E12SF163) and Liaoning Science and Technology Project (Grant No. c201602245).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Zhongshan HospitalFudan University and Shanghai Institute of Medical ImagingShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyFirst Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical UniversityDalianChina
  3. 3.Department of Vascular Surgery, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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