Conclusion

This preliminary algorithm shows promise in separating stable (thick) and unstable (thin) fibrous caps. Future work is aimed at improving the detection of ruptured cap and differentiating it from thin caps. Actual identification of ruptured caps is a more complicated issue involving multicontrast MRI with up to 5 weightings (3D TOF, T1, T2, PD, and contrast enhanced T1). A human expert also uses presence of juxtaluminal calcification, intraplaque hemorrhage, and thrombus to detect a ruptured cap. An algorithm that takes into account all the above weightings and factors would be more likely to differentiate ruptured caps from thin caps.

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