The Canadian journal of cardiology

The prognostic role of late gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging in patients with cardiomyopathy.

PMID 23439019


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) is currently considered part of standard care at many academic centres for the evaluation of patients with ischemic or nonischemic cardiomyopathy. While CMRI provides unparalleled diagnostic versatility for the assessment of myocardial function, perfusion, and tissue health, evidence supporting its prognostic value for the prediction of important cardiovascular events is now emerging. Given the low specificity of currently available clinical markers in patients with cardiomyopathy, more-robust biomarkers aimed at identifying those at high risk of sudden cardiac death and other relevant outcomes are desirable. Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) CMRI offers the novel capacity to quantify the burden of myocardial fibrosis, a common pathophysiological end point of most cardiomyopathy states. As such, it has the potential to be a robust and ubiquitous marker of cardiovascular events related to the presence of advanced tissue disease. This review paper focuses on the evidence to date supporting LGE imaging as a tool for the prediction of future cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy.