State of the Art in Noninvasive Imaging of Ischemic Heart Disease and Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction in Women: Indications, Performance, and Limitations
AbstractPurpose of ReviewEstablishing a diagnosis of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in women, including assessment for coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) when indicated, can be challenging. Access to performance of invasive testing when appropriate may be limited, and noninvasive imaging assessments have evolved. This review will summarize the various noninvasive imaging modalities available for the diagnosis of IHD and CMD in women, outlining indications, performance modalities, advantages, and limitations.Recent FindingsWhile stress echocardiography and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) are widely available and can detect IHD in women, their ability to specifically identify CMD is limited. Novel developments in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, including spectroscopy, and positron emission tomography (PET) have changed the diagnostic landscape. Coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA), while unable to diagnose CMD, is developing an emerging role in the risk stratification of ischemic syndromes.SummaryDespite the discovery of increased CMD prevalence in symptomatic women and technological advances in diagnostic imaging, practitioners are limited by user expertise and center availability when choosing a diagnostic imaging modality. Knowledge of this evolving field is imperative as it highlights the need for sex-specific assessment of cardiovascular syndromes.