Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging: JACC Review Topic of the Week

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Oct 19;78(16):1655-1668. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.08.022.


Stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is a cost-effective, noninvasive test that accurately assesses myocardial ischemia, myocardial viability, and cardiac function without the need for ionizing radiation. There is a large body of literature, including randomized controlled trials, validating its diagnostic performance, risk stratification capabilities, and ability to guide appropriate use of coronary intervention. Specifically, stress CMR has shown higher diagnostic sensitivity than single-photon emission computed tomography imaging in detecting angiographically significant coronary artery disease. Stress CMR is particularly valuable for the evaluation of patients with moderate to high pretest probability of having stable ischemic heart disease and for patients known to have challenging imaging characteristics, including women, individuals with prior revascularization, and those with left ventricular dysfunction. This paper reviews the basics principles of stress CMR, the data supporting its clinical use, the added-value of myocardial blood flow quantification, and the assessment of myocardial function and viability routinely obtained during a stress CMR study.

Keywords: coronary artery disease; magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial perfusion; stable ischemic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review