Infarct characterization using CT
Myocardial infarction (MI) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. The incidence is not expected to diminish, despite better prevention, diagnosis and treatment, because of the ageing population in industrialized countries and unhealthy lifestyles in developing countries. Nowadays it is highly requested an imaging tool able to evaluate MI and viability. Technology improvements determined an expansion of clinical indications from coronary plaque evaluation to functional applications (perfusion, ischemia and viability after MI) integrating additional phases and information in the mainstream examination. Cardiac computed tomography (CCT) and cardiac MR (CMR) employ different contrast media, but may characterize MI with overlapping imaging findings due to the similar kinetics and tissue distribution of gadolinium and iodinated contrast media. CCT may detect first-pass perfusion defects, dynamic perfusion after pharmacological stress, and delayed enhancement (DE) of non-viable territories.