News: Atherosclerosis Imaging and Analysis

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June 26th, 2012 – GE Healthcare and VPDiagnostics collaborate on MRI of Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis

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

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

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Previous Releases:

Seattle, WA, November, 2011 – Report:  Arteriosclerosis Global Clinical Trials Review, Q4, 2010 covers VPDiagnostics’ multi-center carotid atherosclerosis trial.

Seattle, WA, February, 2011 –  University of Washington Center for Commercialization has featured VPDiagnostics’ commercialization effort in its annual report:  Image Analysis Technology Helps Prevent Strokes.

Seattle, WA, September, 2010 – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued  Technical Brief: Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque. The brief provides an overview of vulnerable plaque, a long list of references, discussion, and a list of commercial products that are in the space of diagnosing and treating vulnerable plaques. MRI-PlaqueViewTM is listed on page 60.

Seattle, WA, June, 2010 Philips and VPDiagnostics team up in MRI of carotid artery athersclerosis: Philips Healthcare and VPDiagnostics, Inc. have signed a co-marketing agreement. Under this agreement, VPDiagnostics will provide its FDA 510 (k) cleared carotid artery atherosclerosis analysis package, called MRI-PlaqueViewTM, for Philips MRI customers. Philips has developed an ExamCard for carotid artery imaging on the 3.0 Tesla Acheiva (including Achieva 3.0TAchieva 3.0T TX, and Achieva 3.0T X-series), the scans have been optimized for image quality and efficient use of scanner  and MRI-PlaqueViewTM. See Philips Achieva 3T Carotid plaque imaging for analysis with MRI-Plaqueview by VPDiagnostics for plaque imaging protocol.

Seattle, WA, April, 2010 – VPDiagnostics, Inc. announces the release of plaque characterization software: MRI-PlaqueViewTM 2.0. VPDiagnostics is also actively recruiting clinical sites for an NIH-sponsored multi-center prospective carotid artery atherosclerosis trial.  

Seattle, WA, February, 2010 – The result of Carotid Revascularization Endartectomy vs. Stenting Trial (CREST) has just been published on NEJM. The result of the International Carotid Stenting Study (ICSS) has just been published on Lancet.

Seattle, WA, May, 2009 – VPDiagnostics, Inc. announces that MRI-PlaqueViewTM has been selected as the plaque characterization  software for MRI carotid and aorta atherosclerosis imaging in the High-Risk Plaque Initiative (HRP) study. The analysis conducted by the University of Washington and Mount Sinai Medical Center has been successfully executed by May 2009.

Seattle, WA, March, 2009 VPDiagnostics Announces Plaque Analysis Software for MRI and Starts a Clinical Trial on Stroke Risk Stratification.  See MRI-PlaqueViewTM and a NIH sponsored multi-center carotid atherosclerosis trial for detailed information.

Seattle, WA, April, 2007 – VPDiagnostics, Inc. announced the receipt of a NIH SBIR phase II grant over 3 years. The new funding will be used to complete the commercialization of technology for artery wall imaging analysis, with a focus on obtaining regulatory approval for their software.

Seattle, WA, May, 2006 UW licenses innovative cardiovascular software to VPDiagnostics.