Established and emerging cardiovascular magnetic resonance techniques for the assessment of stable coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndromes

David P. Ripley, Manish Motwani, Sven Plein, John P. Greenwood


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. International guidelines recommend cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) as an investigative option in those presenting with chest pain to inform diagnosis, risk stratify and determine the need for revascularization. CMR offers a unique method to assess global and regional cardiac function, myocardial perfusion, myocardial viability, tissue characterisation and proximal coronary anatomy all within a single study. This results in high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of significant coronary stenoses and an established role in the management of both stable CHD and acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The growing evidence base for the prognostic value of CMR, emerging advances in acquisition techniques, improvements in hardware and the completion of current major multi-centre clinical CMR trials will further raise its prominence in international guidelines and routine cardiological practice. This article will focus on the rapidly evolving role of the multi-parametric CMR examination in the assessment of patients with stable and unstable CHD.