The PICACHU study is an assessment of perivascular inflammation in carotid arteries on computed tomographic angiography with histopathological correlation in a stroke population.

Patients who present with suspected ischaemic stroke routinely undergo carotid computed tomographic angiography (CTA), an imaging study that assesses the arteries in the neck. A major cause of ischaemic stroke is atherosclerosis, which is a disease associated with inflammation.

Clinically, carotid CTA is used to identify atherosclerotic plaque and measure the severity of narrowing in the internal carotid artery (ICA) to inform treatment decisions. Patients with high-grade ICA stenosis are treated surgically with an operation called carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to remove the diseased section of the ICA.


  • Recent studies have shown a biomarker of inflammation on coronary CTA by measuring the density of perivascular fat. The PICACHU study aims to apply this imaging biomarker to carotid CTA, with the potential to identify patients who may benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment.
  • Other features of atherosclerotic disease may also be assessed on carotid CTA, however, there is no widely used system of assessing plaque. This study aims to develop a reporting proforma for plaque analysis.
  • Carotid CTA will be analysed with artificial intelligence/radiomics to identify additional clinically relevant imaging features that have not yet been studied.

Research team

Take part in this project

Student applications

Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.

How to apply

Apply to be a participant

This project is open for expressions of interest from those wanting to take part in a clinical trial. Contact us to learn more about participating.

Register your interest

Seeking participants

Accepting students

Contact us

If you’re interested in learning more about this project please contact our team.

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter a valid phone number
Please enter a correct email address
Please provide information regarding your enquiry