The role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in adults with congenital heart disease

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Nov-Dec;54(3):295-304. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2011.07.006.


The comprehensive coverage and versatility of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), providing functional as well as anatomical information, make it an important facility in a center specializing in the care of adults with congenital heart disease. Imaging specialists using CMR to investigate acquired heart disease should also be able to recognize and evaluate previously unsuspected congenital malformations. Conditions that may present or be picked up during imaging in adulthood include atrial septal defect, anomalously connected pulmonary veins, double-chambered right ventricle, congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, aortic coarctation, and patent arterial duct. To realize its full potential and to avoid pitfalls, CMR of adults with congenital heart disease requires specific training and experience. Appropriate pathophysiological understanding is needed to evaluate cardiovascular function after surgery for tetralogy of Fallot, after transposition of the great arteries, and after Fontan operations. For these and other more complex cases, CMR should ideally be undertaken by specialists committed to long-term collaboration with the clinicians and surgeons managing the patients in a tertiary referral center.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index