Post myocardial infarction of the left ventricle: The course ahead seen by cardiac MRI

Pier Giorgio Masci, Jan Bogaert


In the last decades, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has gained acceptance in cardiology community as an accurate and reproducible diagnostic imaging modality in patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD). In particular, in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) cardiac MRI study allows a comprehensive assessment of the pattern of ischemic injury in term of reversible and irreversible damage, myocardial hemorrhage and microvascular obstruction (MVO). Myocardial salvage index, derived by quantification of myocardium (area) at risk and infarction, has become a promising surrogate end-point increasingly used in clinical trials testing novel or adjunctive reperfusion strategies. Early post-infarction, the accurate and reproducible quantification of myocardial necrosis, along with the characterization of ischemic myocardial damage in its diverse components, provides important information to predict post-infarction left ventricular (LV) remodeling, being useful for patients stratification and management. Considering its non-invasive nature, cardiac MRI suits well for investigating the time course of infarct healing and the changes occurring in peri-infarcted (adjacent) and remote myocardium, which ultimately promote the geometrical, morphological and functional abnormalities of the entire left ventricle (global LV remodeling). The current review will focus on the cardiac MRI utility for a comprehensive evaluation of patients with acute and chronic IHD with particular regard to post-infarction remodeling.