Intraplaque hemorrhage on magnetic resonance angiography: How often do signal abnormalities persist on follow-up imaging?

John C. Benson, Adnan Shahid, Anthony S. Larson, Waleed Brinjikji, Deena Nasr, Luca Saba, Giuseppe Lanzino, Luis E. Savastano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) in carotid atherosclerosis demonstrates increased signal on magnetic resonance angiography images. Little remains known about how this signal changes on subsequent examinations. Materials and Methods: A retrospective observational study was completed of patients that had IPH on a neck MRA between 1/1/2016 and 3/25/2021, defined as ≥ 200 % signal intensity of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on MPRAGE images. Examinations were excluded if the patients had undergone carotid endarterectomy between examinations or had poor quality imaging. IPH volumes were calculated by manually outlining IPH components. Up to 2 subsequent MRAs, if available, were assessed for both the presence and volume of IPH. Results: 102 patients were included, of which 90 (86.5 %) were male. IPH was on the right in 48 patients (average volume = 174.0 mm3), and on the left in 70 patients (average volume 186.9 mm3). 22 had at least one follow-up (average 444.7 days between exams), and 6 had two follow-up MRAs (average 489.5 days between exams). On the first follow-up, 19 (86.4 %) plaques had persistent hyperintense signal in the region of IPH. The second follow-up showed persistent signal in 5/6 plaques (88.3 %). Combined volume of IPH from right and left carotid arteries did not significantly decrease on the first follow-up exam (p = 0.08). Conclusions: IPH usually retains hyperintense signal on follow-up MRAs, possibly representing recurrent hemorrhage or degraded blood products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107744
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid
  • Hemorrhage
  • MRA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intraplaque hemorrhage on magnetic resonance angiography: How often do signal abnormalities persist on follow-up imaging?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this