About this Research Topic
Cardiomyopathies are a motley crew of cardiac disorders, encompassing a broad range of inherited and acquired diseases from hypertrophic, dilated and arrhythmogenic to amyloidosis and inflammatory cardiomyopathies, that frequently cause heart failure and sudden cardiac death and are now recognized with increasing frequency. The phenotypic variety makes each difficult to characterize, though myocardial fibrosis is often the common denominator, regardless of pathophysiology.
Previously, myocardial biopsy was the only means to establish fibrosis, but is fraught with patient risk, sampling error and does not reflect the extent within the whole heart. Cardiac imaging represents one of the most profound advances in cardiovascular medicine and science. This is generally safe, noninvasive, or minimally invasive. Modern advanced non-invasive imaging modalities offer increasingly more rigorous assessment of cardiac structure, function and biology allowing earlier diagnosis, better risk stratification and appropriate therapeutic decisions.
In the broad range of information made available today, most important is to recognize the value and set the appropriateness of different modalities, making sense of new tools such as deformation imaging, multiparametric mapping and hybrid imaging. Furthermore, new imaging techniques can be of great help in selecting patients for molecular genetic analysis, as this would be a crucial step forward to improved characterisation and prognostic profiling of inherited cardiomyopathies. Ultimately, a better understanding of the correlations between genotype and phenotype will be very useful in correctly aiming the more advanced diagnostic and therapeutic strategies and hence in improving quality of care for people affected by cardiomyopathies and for their families.
This Research Topic in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine is intended as a compendium of review articles, clinical case series, methodological and perspective papers, providing a broad overview of the state-of-the-art of the role non-invasive multimodality imaging in genetic and acquired cardiomyopathies, but is also open to submissions of original research articles and brief research reports that compliment the Topic. Special emphasis will be placed on recent advances and novel imaging techniques and applications that might become useful in the near future to tackle the urgent need for precise phenotyping to advance precision medicine as a strategy to refine current diagnostic and prognostic schemes, and to improve therapeutic outcome in patients with inherited and acquired cardiomyopathies.
Conflict of Interest Note: Prof. Steffen E. Petersen provides Consultancy to Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has options for shares. The other Topic Editors do not have any competing interests to declare.
Keywords: Cardiomyopathy, Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Cardiac CT, Nuclear Imaging