Imaging of Heart Disease in Women

Ischemic heart disease is the number one cause of death of women in the United States, accounting for over a quarter of a million annual female deaths. Evidence within the last several decades supports sex-specific differences in the prevalence, symptoms, and prognosis of ischemic heart disease between men and women. Despite women having a lower burden of obstructive coronary artery disease compared with men, the prevalence of angina and mortality from ischemic heart disease is higher for women than men. In addition to ischemic heart disease, certain nonischemic conditions may also have sex-specific differences in clinical presentation and occurrence. With the rising utilization of noninvasive modalities for the diagnosis and management of ischemic heart disease, it is important for radiologists to be familiar with the unique considerations for imaging women with heart disease. The purpose of this review is to discuss challenges for detection of heart disease in women, examine performance of noninvasive modalities in the detection of ischemic heart disease, and discuss nonischemic cardiomyopathies unique to or prevalent in women. Considerations for cardiac imaging in pregnancy are also discussed.

PMID: 28005501

Posted in Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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