Disease-specific cardiovascular positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging: a brief review of the current literature
The hybrid positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) is a new imaging tool that has garnered immense research interest for its potentials to assist clinical investigations. PET/MR combines the quantitative measurement of PET with dynamic functional and anatomic assessment of MR and can deliver a robust clinical examination. Currently, simultaneous cardiovascular PET/MR imaging remains in the pre-clinical research stage, and most institutions have not adopted a clinical PET/MR clinical imaging service. Nevertheless, PET/MR examination has unique promises in several areas of cardiovascular medicine, and in recent years more and more research publications have become available to lend us insight into its utility in cardiovascular imaging. Here we review the existing literature on simultaneous cardiovascular PET/MR imaging, with an emphasis on organizing the current literature into disease-specific discussions. These areas include coronary artery disease (CAD), carotid atherosclerosis, various infiltrative, inflammatory and hereditary heart diseases, myocarditis, vasculitis, and cardiac mass assessment. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the current understanding of cardiovascular PET/MR clinical imaging, in a disease-specific manner, from a clinician’s perspective. Potential limitations of simultaneous PET/MR, such as cost effectiveness, artifacts, contraindications, and radiation exposure, are briefly discussed.