Like X-Ray contrast angiography, MR coronary angiograms show the vessel lumens rather than the vessels themselves. Consequently, outward remodeling of the vessel wall, which occurs in subclinical coronary disease before luminal narrowing, cannot be seen. The current gold standard for assessing the coronary vessel wall is intravascular ultrasound, and more recently, optical coherence tomography, both of which are invasive and use ionizing radiation. A noninvasive, low-risk technique for assessing the vessel wall would be beneficial to cardiologists interested in the early detection of preclinical disease and for the safe monitoring of the progression or regression of disease in longitudinal studies. In this review article, the current state of the art in MR coronary vessel wall imaging is discussed, together with validation studies and recent developments.
Keywords: coronary vessel wall; magnetic resonance; review.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.