The Prevalence and Quantification of Atherosclerosis in an Elderly Population Assessed by Whole-Body Magnetic Resonance Angiography

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The principal aim of the present study was to explore the feasibility of using whole-body magnetic resonance angiography to assess atherosclerosis in different vascular territories in a cohort of elderly.

Methods and Results—

Three hundred six 70-year-old subjects (145 women, 161 men) recruited from a population-based cohort study (Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors, ie, the PIVUS study) underwent 1.5-T whole-body magnetic resonance angiography with gadodiamide. The arteries were divided into 26 segments. In total, 7956 vessel segments were evaluated with 7900 segments (99.3%) possible to evaluate. Of these, 7186 segments (91%) were normal. Luminal narrowing of ≥50% was observed in 9 (1.5%) of the renal arteries, 12 (1.8%) of the carotid arteries, in 31 segments (1.1%) of the pelvic/upper leg territories, and in 136 segments (6.2%) of territories in the lower leg. Approximately one-third of the sample had no vascular abnormalities, one-third had stenoses of <50%, and the remainder had stenoses ≥50% or occlusions. Six subjects (2%) had aortic aneurysms. In subjects without evident vascular disease, 26% had significant vascular abnormalities.


Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography performed with a clinical scanner can be used for quantifying atherosclerosis in different vascular territories in a single examination in an elderly population.

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