Myocardial infarction is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Myocardial infarction may represent a major catastrophic event leading to severe hemodynamic failure or sudden death or it may occur repeatedly in patients with established heart disease. In this context, the role of imaging techniques may become useful for the understanding of the determinants in a preclinical setting before acute coronary events, and for an accurate and correct diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Three-dimensional noninvasive imaging techniques, such as Cardiac CT (CCT) and Cardiac MR imaging (CMR) were widely developed in the last two decades. These imaging techniques may provide new insights into understanding, assessment and follow-up of myocardial infarction. CCT is mainly oriented to morphological assessment including applications such as the detection of coronary artery stenoses even in acute settings, the evaluation of coronary atherosclerotic burden, and the follow-up of patients with known coronary artery disease who underwent myocardial revascularization. On the other hand, CMR is the reference standard for the functional assessment of the heart with evaluation of volumes, mass, and contractility of the ventricles. CMR myocardial viability imaging with delayed contrast enhancement has become broadly accepted for the detection and characterization of the extent of acute and chronic myocardial infarction.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, computed tomography, coronary arteries, magnetic resonance, myocardial infarction.
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