Identifying subjects who are at risk for SCD and stratifying them correctly into low or high-risk groups is the holy grail of Cardiology. While imaging shows a lot of promise, it is plagued by the fact that most SCD occurs in relatively healthy subjects, a massive group who would not ordinarily be subjected to imaging. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) currently is our primary parameter for risk stratification for sudden cardiac death but is a poor marker with low sensitivity and specificity. Current data shows that sophisticated imaging with techniques, mainly Cardiac magnetic resonance Imaging (CMR), have the potential to identify novel high-risk markers underlying SCD, beyond ejection fraction. Imaging seems to further refine risk in patients with low LVEF as well as in those with normal EF; this is a major strength of advanced imaging. Clinical application has been slow and not fully prime time. It is important to remember that while promising, imaging techniques including CMR, have not been tested in rigorous prospective studies and thus have not as yet replaced EF as the gatekeeper to ICD implantation.
- Heart failure
- Sudden cardiac death