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News: GE Healthcare and VPDiagnostics collaborate on MRI of Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis

New collaboration aims to improve research and clinical development in vulnerable plaque assessment

June 26, 2012

GE Healthcare and VPDiagnostics, Inc. jointly announced today their co-marketing agreement for the VPDiagnostics’ MRI-PlaqueViewTM software for a carotid artery atherosclerosis analysis. The MRI-PlaqueViewTM software is compatible with carotid MRI data acquired from GE MR 3.0T systems (HDxt & Discovery MR750). The collaboration will aim to develop optimized carotid imaging protocols and also future co-developments on new techniques.

Carotid atherosclerosis may be responsible for as much as one-third  of all strokes. To better gauge risk of stroke from carotid atherosclerosis, clinicians are beginning to look beyond traditional risk factors such as carotid artery narrowing (stenosis) to identify high-risk features of the atherosclerotic plaque itself1, 2, 3. The GE 3.0T MRI systems and dedicated carotid coil enables high-resolution multi-contrast imaging of carotid lumens, vessel walls and atherosclerotic plaques, while the MRI PlaqueViewTM software from VPDiagnostics provides analysis of these images to delineate various plaque components such as vessel wall, calcified and soft plaques, and help provide a better assessment of the plaque characteristics.

“The GE 3.0T MRI scanners and dedicated high-channel count carotid coil provide exciting capabilities for acquiring images of carotid artery atherosclerosis;  and MRI-PlaqueViewTM is an FDA cleared, advanced carotid assessment software tool.” commented Hui Hu, CEO of VPDiagnostics.  “The combination of high performance vessel wall imaging and our user-friendly, streamlined, and specialized tool will help support the assessment of carotid artery atherosclerosis in clinical work ups and in research.”

“Stroke is one of the top causes of mortality globally and MR is already playing a critical role in stroke imaging in terms of perfusion & diffusion imaging. MR plaque characterization can play a key role identifying vulnerable plaques in these patients, especially those with transient ischemic attack or in the sub-acute stage. We see a future potential for incorporating MR plaque characterization in specific stroke-workups to improve outcomes and reduce unnecessary invasive procedures.” said Maggie Fung, GE Healthcare MR Cardiovascular Development Manager. “VPDiagnostics has a strong background in research and clinical validation in this area, and we believe this collaboration would help position GE in the fore-front of this exciting research & clinical area. “


  1. Takaya; Stroke 2006; 37:818-23
  2. Singh; Radiology 2009; 252:502-8
  3. Altaf; J Vasc Surg 2008; 47:337-42


About VPDiagnostics, Inc.  ( http://www.vpdiagnostics.com )

VPDiagnostics, Inc. develops evidence-based imaging solutions to non-invasively assess high-risk atherosclerotic plaque before rupture.  It can assist clinicians in planning for the most suitable treatment. It also enables faster and more reliably quantitative assessment of disease progression in medical research and drug development. VPDiagnostics’ lead product, MRI-PlaqueViewTM, enables researchers and clinicians to efficiently interpret MRI studies of carotid artery atherosclerosis.  The software has advanced semi-automated tools to analyze plaque burden, highlight plaque features, and generate concise reports.  VPDiagnostics is also organizing an NIH-sponsored multi-center prospective clinical trial to evaluate a new diagnostic utility for use with MRI-PlaqueViewTM that will enable the prediction of future risk of stroke and related neurological complications based on carotid artery atherosclerosis characteristics.

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.


Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at http://www.gehealthcare.com.


Mike Hartmann
Rebecca Hayne