Noninvasive imaging of myocardial extracellular matrix for assessment of fibrosis

Samuel Won, Cynthia Davies-Venn, Songtao Liu, David A. Bluemke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Myocardial fibrosis is a common feature of many cardiomyopathies, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Myocardial fibrosis has been shown to be reversible and treatable with timely intervention. Although early detection and assessment of fibrosis is crucial, adequate diagnostics are still in development. Recent studies have shown progress on noninvasive imaging methods of fibrosis using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and nuclear imaging modalities. RECENT FINDINGS: T1 mapping and extracellular volume mapping (ECV) combined with CMR imaging are cutting edge methods that have the potential to assess interstitial myocardial fibrosis. Recent findings show that ECV measurement can be correlated to the extent of diffuse fibrosis. Comparatively, molecular imaging targets specific biomarkers in the fibrosis formation pathway and provides enhanced sensitivity for imaging early disease. Biomarkers include molecules involved in angiogenesis, ventricular remodeling, and fibrotic tissue formation, whereas collagen targeted agents can directly identify fibrotic tissue in the heart. SUMMARY: This review introduces novel methods of fibrosis imaging that utilize properties of extracellular matrix and its biomarkers. Changes in characteristics and cellular biomarkers of the extracellular space can provide significant information regarding fibrosis formation and its role in cardiomyopathy. Ultimately, these findings may improve detection and monitoring of disease and improve efficiency and effectiveness of the treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • extracellular matrix
  • imaging
  • left ventricular remodeling
  • magnetic resonance
  • myocardial fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Noninvasive imaging of myocardial extracellular matrix for assessment of fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this