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Expert review

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance for the interventionist

Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, England.

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is recognised as the gold standard, non-invasive investigation for the delineation of cardiac and major vessel anatomical variation, particularly in the setting of congenital heart disease (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Coarctation of aorta.

It provides images of exceptional precision and quality throughout a wide range of cardiovascular disease processes. Recent improvements in the technical capabilities and speed of acquisition of the scanners has sponsored a more robust role for CMR in the setting of coronary artery disease. CMR images can now be rapidly acquired and manipulated to give information on cardiovascular structure, function, metabolism, perfusion, as well as the presence of infarcted, viable and ischaemic myocardium.

With the development of dedicated CMR scanners as well as combined cardiovascular interventional CMR laboratories, interventional cardiologists are now an integral component in the evolution of this pioneering technology.

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