Cardiomyopathies (CMPs) are a heterogeneous group of diseases that involve the myocardium and result in systolic or diastolic impairment of the cardiac muscle, potentially leading to heart failure, malignant arrhythmias, or sudden cardiac death. Occurrence in pediatric age is rare but has been associated with worse outcomes. Non-invasive cardiac imaging techniques, integrated with clinical, genetic, and electrocardiographic data, have shown a pivotal role in the clinical work-up of such diseases by defining structural alterations and assessing potential complications. Above all modalities, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has emerged as a powerful tool complementary to echocardiography to confirm diagnosis, provide prognostic information and guide therapeutic strategies secondary to its high spatial and temporal resolution, lack of ionizing radiation, and good reproducibility. Moreover, CMR can provide in vivo tissue characterization of the myocardial tissue aiding the identification of structural pathologic changes such as replacement or diffuse fibrosis, which are predictors of worse outcomes. Large prospective randomized studies are needed for further validation of CMR in the context of childhood CMPs. This review aims to highlight the role of advanced imaging with CMR in CMPs with particular reference to the dilated, hypertrophic and non-compacted phenotypes, which are more commonly seen in children.
Reference: A Comprehensive Assessment of Cardiomyopathies through Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance: Focus on the Pediatric Population. Baessato F, Romeo C, Rabbat MG, Pontone G, Meierhofer C. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Apr 19;12(5):1022.