Identification and 3-D quantification of atherosclerosis using magnetic resonance imaging

M. B. Merickel, C. S. Carman, J. R. Brookeman, J. P. Mugler, M. F. Brown, C. R. Ayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease due to atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death in the United States as well as other developed countries. This paper describes the development of image processing, pattern recognition, and graphical display techniques to non-invasively quantify the atherosclerotic disease process using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We have demonstrated the ability to identify the soft tissue classes of (1) normal, smooth muscle wall, (2) fatty plaque, (3) complex, fibrous plaque, and (4) calcified plaque. The objective of this work has been to combine functional information, such as plaque tissue type, with structural information, represented by 3-D display of vessel structure, into a single composite display. The results of this work provide a "high information content" display which will aid in the diagnosis and analysis of the atherosclerotic disease process, and permit detailed and quantitative studies to assess the effectiveness of therapies (e.g. changes in diet, exercise and drug administration).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988


  • 3-D display
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Image analysis
  • Pattern recognition
  • magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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