The role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in the assessment of severe aortic stenosis and in post-procedural evaluation following transcatheter aortic valve implantation and surgical aortic valve replacement
Degenerative aortic stenosis (AS) is the most common valvular disease in the western world with a prevalence expected to double within the next 50 years. International guidelines advocate the use of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) as an investigative tool, both to guide diagnosis and to direct optimal treatment. CMR is the reference standard for quantifying both left and right ventricular volumes and mass, which is essential to assess the impact of AS upon global cardiac function. Given the ability to image any structure in any plane, CMR offers many other diagnostic strengths including full visualisation of valvular morphology, direct planimetry of orifice area, the quantification of stenotic jets and in particular, accurate quantification of valvular regurgitation. In addition, CMR permits reliable and accurate measurements of the aortic root and arch which can be fundamental to appropriate patient management. There is a growing evidence base to indicate tissue characterisation using CMR provides prognostic information, both in asymptomatic AS patients and those undergoing intervention. Furthermore, a number of current clinical trials will likely raise the importance of CMR in routine patient management. This article will focus on the incremental value of CMR in the assessment of severe AS and the insights it offers following valve replacement.