Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Myocardial Fibrosis Related to Ischemic Events

DOI: 10.1515/jim-2017-0067

Given the higher amount of detail it offers, the use of magnetic resonance (MR) in the field of cardiology has increased, thus leading to a decrease in the use of invasive and irradiating methods for diagnosing various cardiovascular disorders. The only precautions for MR imaging are metallic implants and advanced-stage chronic kidney disease. For the acquisition of clear and dynamic myocardial images, methods such as spin echo imaging for anatomical description, steady-state free precession imaging for the assessment of ventricular cavity size and function, flow velocity encoding for blood flow measurements, radiofrequency tagging for dynamics, and even spectroscopy for metabolism evaluation are used. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is considered the gold standard imaging method for the anatomical characterization of the heart and obtaining information related to myocardial dynamics. In case of ischemic events, CMR is used for a detailed description of the necrotic area and the complications, and for tracking the ventricular remodeling. By administrating a contrast agent (gadolinium), the difference between sub-endothelial and transmural infarctions can be distinguished, highlighting even microvascular lesions responsible for the extension of the necrosis. The assessment of the dynamics of ventricular remodeling and viability through late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) technology highlights the area of fibrosis and the occurrence of late complications.