Role of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in the management of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Nov 18;52(21):1683-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.08.033.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disorder characterized by abnormally elevated blood pressure of the pulmonary circulation that results, over time, from extensive vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary vascular resistance. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology have led to the development of techniques for noninvasive assessment of cardiovascular structure and function, including hemodynamic parameters in the pulmonary circulation, which are superior in their identification of right ventricular morphologic changes. These advantages make cardiac MRI an attractive modality for following up and providing prognoses in patients with PAH. In this review, we summarize recent developments in the use of MRI for the diagnosis, assessment, and ongoing monitoring of patients with PAH. Over the coming decade, it can be anticipated that continued improvements in MRI image acquisition, spatial and temporal resolution, and analytical techniques will result in improved understanding of PAH pathophysiology, diagnosis, and prognostic variables, and will supplement, and may even replace, some of the invasive procedures currently applied routinely to the evaluation of PAH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Pulmonary Heart Disease / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Heart Disease / etiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index