Margulis Award Presented to MRI Study of Plaque

Anna E. H. Zavodni, M.D. and N. Reed Dunnick, M.D.


The RSNA Alexander R. Margulis Award for Scientific Excellence was presented Monday to Anna E. H. Zavodni, M.D., and colleagues, for the article, "Carotid Artery Plaque Morphology and Composition in Relation to Incident Cardiovascular Events: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)," published in Radiology in May 2014.

Named for Alexander R. Margulis, M.D., a distinguished investigator in the science of radiology, the award recognizes the best original scientific article published in a particular year in Radiology. The Margulis Award Nominating Committee and the Margulis Award Selection Committee review published manuscripts based on their novelty, quality, importance, and potential scientific and clinical impacts.

The study investigated the predictive value of a number of MRI features in determining the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events in an asymptomatic population. A total of 946 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) were evaluated with MRI. Patients were followed for an average of 5.5 years to determine the subsequent occurrence of major cardiovascular disease, including fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular disease.

The paper was the first population-based, prospective study to determine if vulnerable plaque features shown on MR images add to the risk of a cardiovascular event beyond the traditional risk factors and adds to the growing body of information on biomarkers that may be used to determine the risk of major cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic individuals.

Cardiovascular events occurred in 59 of the patients in the study. Abnormal thickening of the carotid artery wall and the presence of a lipid core and calcium in the internal carotid artery on MRI were significant predictors of subsequent events. A lipid core was present in almost half of the patients who had an event, compared with only 17.8 percent of those who did not have an event.

Copies of the award-winning article are available in the Journals, News & Radiology­Info area in RSNA Services.

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