What is the role of MRI in the workup of coronary artery atherosclerosis?

Updated: Apr 09, 2021
  • Author: Sandy N Shah, DO, MBA, FACC, FACP, FACOI; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP  more...
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to gain information noninvasively about blood vessel wall structure and to characterize plaque composition. In a study of 393 men and 235 women with suspected CAD, Greenwood et al found that cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) had significantly higher diagnostic sensitivity than SPECT in both sexes (P< 0.0001). [43]

The sensitivity of CMR was similar in males and females (85.6% vs 88.7%; P = 0.57), whereas that of SPECT was significantly higher in males than in females (70.8% vs 50.9%; P = 0.007). [43] The specificity of CMR (82.8% in males vs 83.5% in females; P = 0.86) was comparable to that of SPECT (81.3% in males vs 84.1% in females; P = 0.48).

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