CMR itself comes with the standard benefits of being non-invasive and avoiding the use of ionizing radiation, which is particularly important for serial imaging studies.

Finally, the carotid artery can be used as a systemic marker of overall cardiovascular health to be assessed by carotid CMR.

To understand the many roles that carotid CMR can play in clinical management of carotid atherosclerosis, this review describes the near-term feasibility and capability of carotid vessel wall CMR.

The potential for direct and indirect clinical impact of carotid vessel wall CMR is not, however, limited to near-term stroke prediction.

The ideal therapeutic approach would prevent the high-risk lesion from ever developing.

Minimizing patient motion during the scan with the use of comfortable head holders or motion-corrected scanning is critical.

Also, because of SNR limitations, the use of parallel imaging to reduce scan time is not recommended.The diseased carotid alone is responsible for one third of the 700,000 new or recurrent strokes occurring yearly in the United States.Imaging plays an important role in the management of atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) of the carotid vessel wall is one promising modality in the evaluation of patients with carotid atherosclerotic disease.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.