CMR imaging assessing viability in patients with chronic ventricular dysfunction due to coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis of prospective trials

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 May;5(5):494-508. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.02.009.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) assessing myocardial viability in patients with chronic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction due to coronary artery disease using 3 techniques: 1) end-diastolic wall thickness (EDWT); 2) low-dose dobutamine (LDD); and 3) contrast delayed enhancement (DE).

Background: CMR has been proposed to assess myocardial viability over the past decade. However, the best CMR strategy to evaluate patients being contemplated for revascularization has not yet been determined. Some centers advocate DE CMR due to its high sensitivity to identify scar, whereas others favor the use of LDD CMR for its ability to identify contractile reserve.

Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Embase for all the prospective trials assessing myocardial viability in subjects with chronic LV dysfunction using CMR was performed using a standard approach for meta-analysis for diagnostic tests and a bivariate analysis of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV).

Results: A total of 24 studies of CMR evaluating myocardial viability with 698 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Eleven studies used DE, 9 studies used LDD, and 4 studies used EDWT. Our meta-analysis indicates that among CMR methods, DE CMR provides the highest sensitivity as well as the highest NPV (95% and 90%, respectively) for predicting improved segmental LV contractile function after revascularization, followed by EDWT CMR, whereas LDD CMR demonstrated the lowest sensitivity/NPV among all modalities. On the other hand, LDD CMR offered the highest specificity and PPV (91% and 93%, respectively), followed by DE CMR, whereas EDWT showed the lowest of these parameters.

Conclusions: DE CMR provides the highest sensitivity and NPV, whereas LDD CMR provides the best specificity and PPV. In light of these findings, integrating these 2 methods should provide increased accuracy in evaluating patients with chronic LV dysfunction being considered for revascularization.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Disease / complications*
  • Coronary Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Dobutamine
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardial Stunning / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Stunning / etiology
  • Myocardial Stunning / pathology
  • Myocardial Stunning / physiopathology
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tissue Survival
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left*


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Contrast Media
  • Dobutamine