What are some noninvasive methods of coronary artery imaging?
Imaging the coronary arteries is an important part of evaluating ischemic heart disease. Traditionally, this imaging has been performed using cardiac catheterization, an invasive procedure that requires arterial puncture. Newer technologies promise noninvasive, cross-sectional imaging of coronary artery patency and offer the potential to characterize coronary artery plaque. Coronary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using bright blood, dark blood, and contrast-enhanced techniques, can image vessel anatomy and vessel patency and determine lipid content in coronary plaques. Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) can image vessel anatomy and vessel patency, potentially with a higher spatial resolution than MRI, and measure coronary arterial calcification.