Madrid, July 8, 2019. The Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) has coordinated the first international consensus document providing guidelines on the conduct of magnetic resonance imaging studies after a myocardial infarction in clinical trials or experimental models. The document concludes that the main outcome parameter in studies assessing new treatments should be absolute infarct size: the percentage of the left ventricle that is irreversibly damaged. The recommended timing for magnetic resonance imaging is between 3 and 7 days after the infarction.
Recent years have witnessed an exponential rise in the use of magnetic resonance imaging after a heart attack to assess patients’ risk of future events, understand the changes taking place in cardiac tissue, and evaluate the benefit of treatments. The colossal technological advances in this area have generated a plethora of new options for studying these parameters. The lead scientists on the consensus document are Dr Borja Ibañez—Clinical Research Director at the CNIC, consultant cardiologist at Fundación Jiménez Díaz hospital, and a member of the CIBERCV cardiovascular research network—and Dr Valentín Fuster—Director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Medical Director at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The document addresses the need within the cardiovascular community for guidance on the best protocols, the best techniques, and the most appropriate situations for conducting a magnetic resonance imaging study after a heart attack. The document is published today in one of the world-leading cardiovascular research journals, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).
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Dr Valentín Fuster commented that “magnetic resonance imaging is one of the best methods for studying the heart after an infarction. It allows the study of heart anatomy, function, and tissue composition in a very precise way without exposing the patient to radiation. Magnetic resonance imaging is the ideal method for assessing the effect of new treatments. However, until now the community has lacked consistent recommendations on the specific procedures to follow after an acute myocardial infarction in order the assess the effect of these treatments.”
Describing the new document, first author Dr Borja Ibañez explained that “consensus documents of this type provide guidelines to ensure consistency in the use of important tools such as this one. Currently, many clinical trials use magnetic resonance imaging to assess a principal outcome, but it is very difficult to compare these studies because they use widely different protocols. Myocardial infarction affects millions of people in the world every year, and this is therefore a highly active field of research. Because of this, the implications of the new consensus document are enormous.”