Dr. Massimo Lombardi,
The symposium highlighted the flexibility achieved by modern MRI equipment, which can now address an impressive amount of details in the different cardiologic pathologies. The richness of information, both in terms of morphology and function, makes this imaging technology unavoidable in an increasing number of patients.
In the beginning of the symposium, a provocative overview was given on the theoretical possibility of using MRI as a front line methodology for improving the diagnostic accuracy in the emergency room in all those patients referred for chest pain of unclear origin. The possibility of getting images where myocardial oedema is clearly depicted together with the other aspects, like regional wall motion, myocardial perfusion, etc, raises the diagnostic accuracy up to 93%. While this stimulating application is still far from practical use, the capabilities of MRI to evaluate fine tissue characteristics (hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathies, thalassemia), as well as viability in post-infarction or tissue damage in myocarditis (acute and chronic), are well accepted by cardiologists and progressively used in the clinical setting. Finally, it was pointed out that in valvular heart disease also, MRI can add relevant details such as depicting the blood flow inside districts that are difficult for ultrasonic techniques to view, or by facilitating post-surgical assessment in patients with complex valvuloplasty.
My personal feeling is that MRI is rapidly gaining a relevant position within the cardiologic community thanks to its intrinsic flexibility and some unique information which can be obtained by this technology only. My personal interest is also confirmed by the number of attendees, who practically filled the whole room for the entire duration of the symposium.
Unique contributions of cardiovascular magnetic resonance to diagnostic cardiology
This congress report accompanies a presentation given at the ESC Congress 2008. Written by the author himself/herself, this report does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.
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