Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is a non-invasive imaging method that allows to characterize myocardial tissue. In particular, using the late gadolinium enhancement technique, it is possible to identify areas of focal fibrosis. Specific distribution patterns of this fibrosis allow us to distinguish ischaemic cardiomyopathy (iCMP) from non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (nCMP) and sometimes to identify the aetiology of the latter. Diffuse fibrosis can also be identified using the parametric T1 mapping sequences. For this purpose, the native T1 of the tissue is measured before the administration of the contrast agent (c.a.) or the extracellular volume is calculated after c.a. Both focal and diffuse fibrosis evaluated with CMR appear to be strong prognostic predictors for the identification of threatening ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. These evidence open the doors to a possible role of CMR in the selection of the patient to be sent to a defibrillator implant in primary prevention. In this review, we will briefly review the techniques used in CMR for the evaluation of fibrosis. We will then focus on the clinical role of myocardial tissue fibrosis detection in iCMP and nCMP.
Reference: Clinical implications of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging fibrosis. Guglielmo M, Pontone G. Eur Heart J Suppl. 2022 Nov 12;24(Suppl I):I123-I126.