With the recent advent of PET/MRI scanners, the combination of molecular imaging with a variety of known and novel PET radiotracers, the high spatial resolution of MRI, and its potential for multi-parametric imaging are anticipated to increase the diagnostic accuracy in cardiovascular disease detection, while providing novel mechanistic insights into the initiation and progression of the disease state. For the time being, cardiac PET/MRI emerges as potential clinical tool in the identification and characterization of infiltrative cardiac diseases, such as sarcoidosis, acute or chronic myocarditis, and cardiac tumors, respectively. The application of PET/MRI in conjunction with various radiotracer probes in the identification of the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque also holds much promise but needs further translation and validation in clinical investigations. The combination of molecular imaging and creation of multi-parametric imaging maps with PET/MRI, however, are likely to set new horizons to develop predictive parameters for myocardial recovery and treatment response in ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy patients. Molecular imaging and multi-parametric imaging in cardiovascular disease with PET/MRI at current stage are at its infancy but bear a bright future.
- vulnerable plaque