Molecular Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance: Current Status and Future Prospects

Yvonne Y. Bender, Andreas Pfeifer, Hans U. Ebersberger, Gerd Diederichs, Peter Hoppe, Bernd Hamm, René M. Botnar, Marcus R. Makowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the Western world and developing countries, the number one causes of mortality and morbidity result from cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases represent a wide range of pathologies, including myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease, which are all linked by a common cause - atherosclerosis. Currently, the diagnosis of atherosclerosis is in most cases established at the end stage of the disease, when patients are administered to the emergency room due to a myocardial infarction or stroke. Even though cardiovascular diseases have an enormous impact on society, there are still limitations in the early diagnosis and the prevention of the disease. Current imaging methods mainly focus on morphological changes that occur at an advanced disease stage, e.g., degree of stenosis. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging and specifically molecular cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging are capable to reveal pathophysiological changes already occurring during early atherosclerotic plaque formation. This allows for the assessment of cardiovascular disease on a level, which goes beyond morphological or anatomical criteria. In this review, we will introduce promising MR-based molecular imaging strategies for the non-invasive assessment of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular MRI
  • Molecular magnetic resonance imaging
  • Molecular probes


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