Magnetic resonance imaging for the assessment of myocardial viability

Louise E.J. Thomson, Raymond J. Kim, Robert M. Judd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The identification of myocardial viability in the setting of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is crucial for the prediction of functional recovery following revascularization. Although echocardiography, positron emission tomography (PET), and nuclear imaging have validated roles, recent advances in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) technology and availability have led to increased experience in CMR for identification of myocardial viability. CMR has unique advantages in the ability of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure subcellular components of myocardium, and in the image resolution of magnetic resonance proton imaging. As a result of excellent image resolution and advances in pulse sequences and coil technology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify the transmural extent of myocardial infarction (MI) in vivo for the first time. This review of the role of CMR in myocardial viability imaging describes the acute and chronic settings of ventricular dysfunction and concepts regarding the underlying pathophysiology. Recent advances in MRS and MRI are discussed, including the potential for dobutamine MRI to identify viable myocardium and a detailed review of the technique of delayed gadolinium (Gd) contrast hyperenhancement for visualization of viable and nonviable myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-788
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Gadolinium hyperenhancement
  • MRI
  • Myocardium
  • Spectroscopy
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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