What are noninvasive methods of coronary artery imaging?
Imaging of the coronary arteries is a major part of evaluating ischemic heart disease. Traditionally, this imaging has been performed through cardiac catheterization, an invasive procedure that requires arterial puncture. Newer technologies promise noninvasive, cross-sectional imaging of coronary artery patency and can offer the potential to characterize coronary artery plaque. MRI, using bright blood, dark blood, and gadolinium-enhanced images, can be used to assess vessel patency and determine lipid content in coronary plaques. Coronary CT angiography can image vessel patency, potentially with a higher spatial resolution than MRI, and measure coronary calcification.