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Assessment of cardiac ischaemia and viability: role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance.
European Heart Journal
Over the past years, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has proven its efficacy in large clinical trials, and consequently, the assessment of function, viability, and ischaemia by CMR is now an integrated part of the diagnostic armamentarium in cardiology. By combining these CMR applications, coronary artery disease (CAD) can be detected in its early stages and this allows for interventions with the goal to reduce complications of CAD such as infarcts and subsequently chronic heart failure (CHF). As the CMR examinations are robust and reproducible and do not expose patients to radiation, they are ideally suited for repetitive studies without harm to the patients. Since CAD is a chronic disease, the option to monitor CAD regularly by CMR over many decades is highly valuable. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance also progressed recently in the setting of acute coronary syndromes. In this situation, CMR allows for important differential diagnoses. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance also delineates precisely the different tissue components in acute myocardial infarction such as necrosis, microvascular obstruction (MVO), haemorrhage, and oedema, i.e. area at risk. With these features, CMR might also become the preferred tool to investigate novel treatment strategies in clinical research. Finally, in CHF patients, the versatility of CMR to assess function, flow, perfusion, and viability and to characterize tissue is helpful to narrow the differential diagnosis and to monitor treatment.
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