Assessment of myocardial viability is of clinical and scientific significance. Traditionally, the detection of myocardial viability (either stunning or hibernation) has been used in aiding diagnosis before revascularization, especially in high-risk patients. There is a considerable body of observational evidence showing substantial improvement after revascularization in patients with significant left ventricular dysfunction and myocardial viability. Recent randomized evidence has questioned the benefit of viability testing but must be interpreted with caution. Dobutamine stress echocardiography, nuclear imaging, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance are the mainstays of viability testing and provide information on contractile function, cellular metabolism, and myocardial fibrosis, respectively. Larger, multicenter trials with outcome data are needed to define the nature of viability testing and, particularly, cardiovascular magnetic resonance in moderate-to-severe ischemic cardiomyopathy.
- Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
- Late gadolinium enhancement
- Left ventricular dysfunction
- Myocardial viability