Advances in Cardiovascular Imaging
Advanced cardiac imaging, using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and multi detector computed tomography (CT), is increasingly used in the work-up of athletes with suspected abnormalities on screening. Both imaging modalities produce highly accurate and reproducible structural and functional cardiac information. Cardiac MRI has the advantage of imaging without radiation exposure or the use of iodine-containing contrast agents, but is sometimes not possible due to claustrophobia or other contraindications. Although cardiac MRI can rule out coronary artery anomalies, multi detector CT is superior to cardiac MRI for visualizing the full extent of the coronary arteries and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Echocardiography remains the most advanced tool for noninvasive cardiac imaging because of its applicability for most cardiac disorders and its exquisite spatial resolution.