Here we aim to establish gratingbased PCI for atherosclerotic plaque visualisation and characterisation in comparison to clinically established imaging techniques and to histopathology. To achieve these aims we will: (1) optimise the technical grating-based set-up at the TUM Garching using excised vessel specimens; (2) perform a validation study in patients scheduled for surgical carotid endarterectomy with MRI and CT imaging in subjects prior to surgery and PCI imaging in the excised human vessels. We will enroll 15 asymptomatic patients with >60% carotid stenosis and 15 symptomatic patients with a recent TIA / stroke with >50% stenosis who are scheduled for carotid endarterectomy.
All subjects will undergo CT, ultrasound and a MRI (all contrast-enhanced) prior to surgery. The carotid vessel will be harvested postoperatively and fixated for PCI and histology. We will compare atherosclerotic plaque burden and plaque components, such as lipid core, calcification, loose matrix, fibrous tissue area, fibrous cap and inflammatory changes. Contrast agent for PCI will be adopted based on the results from Project C.2.5.