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Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2018 Nov;71(11):961-970. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2018.05.019. Epub 2018 Jun 30.

Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Prediction: The Role of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for more than 4 million global deaths per year. While it is most commonly caused by coronary artery disease, a final common pathway of ventricular arrhythmias is shared by different etiologies. The most effective primary and secondary prevention strategy is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The decision to implant an ICD for primary prevention is largely based on a left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 35%, but this criterion in isolation is neither sensitive nor specific. Novel imaging parameters hold promise to improve ICD candidate selection. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is a powerful and versatile technique, with the ability to comprehensively assess cardiac structure and function. A range of variables based on CMR techniques (late gadolinium enhancement, T1 mapping, T2* relaxometry, deformation imaging) have been associated with ventricular arrhythmias and SCD risk. The role of CMR in the estimation of ventricular arrhythmias and SCD risk in coronary artery disease, nonischemic cardiomyopathies, cardiac transplant, iron-overload cardiomyopathy and valvular heart disease is reviewed in this article. Prospective, randomized trials and standardization of CMR techniques are required before its routine use can be recommended for guiding SCD prevention strategies.


Cardiac magnetic resonance; Exploración por imagen; Imaging; Muerte súbita cardiaca; Resonancia magnética cardiaca; Sudden cardiac death


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