OBJECITVES: Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is emerging as an important diagnostic modality in the management of cardiovascular-related dysfunction in oncological diseases. Advances in imaging techniques have enhanced the detection and evaluation of cardiac masses; meanwhile, innovative applications have created a growing role for cardiac MRI for the management of cardiotoxicity caused by cancer therapies.
METHODS: An overview is provided of the clinical indications and technical considerations of cardiac MRI. Its role in the evaluation of cardiac masses and cardiac function is reviewed, and novel sequences are discussed that are giving rise to future directions in cardio-oncology research. A review of the literature was also performed, focusing on cardiac MRI findings associated with cardiac dysfunction related to cancer treatment.
RESULTS: Cardiac MRI can be used to differentiate benign and malignant primary cardiac tumors, metastatic disease, and pseudotumors with high spatial and temporal resolution. Cardiac MRI can also be used to detect the early and long-term effects of cardiotoxicity related to cancer therapy. This is accomplished through a multiparametric approach that uses conventional bright blood, dark blood, and postcontrast sequences while also considering the applicability of newer T1 and T2 mapping sequences and other emerging techniques.
CONCLUSIONS: Cardio-oncology programs have an expanding presence in the multidisciplinary approach of cancer care. Consequently, knowledge of cardiac MRI and its potential applications is critical to the success of contemporary cancer diagnostics and cancer management.