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Atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease affecting many vascular beds.Disease progression leads to acute cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke and death.By considering how carotid atherosclerotic tissues appear on CMR, image interpretation criteria are provided for the key targets.

These structures also change shape rapidly in the longitudinal direction of the artery.

Thus, 2D imaging approaches have had to contend with in-plane resolutions of 0.6 mm or less and slice thickness of 2-3 mm.

This review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding carotid vessel wall CMR and its potential clinical application for management of carotid atherosclerotic disease.

The common carotid artery bifurcation is a zone of frequent atherosclerotic disease owing to the disturbed hemodynamics in the carotid bulb.

Estimates place carotid atherosclerosis as the embolic source behind up to 30% of the 700,000 new or recurrent strokes annually in the United States []. To assess the risk of stroke from carotid atherosclerotic disease, the current standard is to measure the severity of luminal stenosis by angiography.

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