Indexed on: 10 Mar '10Published on: 10 Mar '10Published in: Nature Reviews Cardiology
Advances in cardiovascular imaging have resulted in the development of multiple noninvasive techniques to evaluate myocardial perfusion and coronary anatomy, each of which has unique strengths and limitations. For example, CT angiography can directly visualize the presence of atherosclerosis, but the hemodynamic effect of many lesions identified by this technique is unknown. Alternatively, myocardial perfusion imaging enables a physiological assessment, but it may underestimate the extent of atherosclerosis in patients with multivessel disease. Dual-modality simultaneous imaging or multimodal sequential imaging techniques facilitate integration of information on both myocardial perfusion and coronary anatomy, and thus have the potential to improve diagnostic and prognostic evaluation, which could translate into improved care of patients. This Review discusses the strengths and limitations of the currently available individual noninvasive techniques for imaging coronary anatomy and myocardial perfusion. Approaches to integration of these imaging modalities are described, followed by an exploration of the clinical utility and future directions of hybrid imaging.