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J Med Life. 2011 Nov 14;4(4):330-45. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in ischemic heart disease: a clinical review.

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Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania.


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as a prime player in the clinical and preclinical detection of ischemic heart disease (IHD) as well in the prognosis assessment by offering a comprehensive approach for all spectrums of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. The aim of this review is to provide the reader a state-of-the art on how the newest cardiac MRI techniques can be used to study IHD patients. In patients with suspected/stable CAD, functional and perfusion imaging both at rest and during vasodilatatory stress (adenosine, dypiridamole)/dobutamine stress can accurately depict ischemic myocardium secondary to significant coronary artery stenosis. In patients with acute MI, MRI is a robust tool for differentiating and sizing the jeopardized and the infarcted myocardium by using a combination of functional, edema, perfusion and Gd contrast imaging. Moreover, important prognostic factors like myocardial salvage, the presence of microvascular obstruction (MVO), post reperfusion myocardial hemorrhage, RV involvement and infarct related complications can be assessed in the same examination. In patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy, the role of the MRI extends from diagnosis by means of Gadolinium contrast scar imaging to therapy and prognosis by functional assessment and viability testing with rest and dobutamine stress imaging. In all the circumstances mentioned, MRI derived information has been proven valuable in every day clinical decision making and prognosis assessment. Thus, MRI is becoming more and more an accepted alternative to other imaging modalities both in the acute and chronic setting.


cardiac imaging; coronary artery disease; myocardial infarction

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