The prevalence of valvular heart disease is increasing as the population ages. In diagnosing individuals with valve disease, echocardiography is the primary imaging modality used by clinicians both for initial assessment and for longitudinal evaluation. However, in some cases cardiovascular magnetic resonance has become a viable alternative in that it can obtain imaging data in any plane prescribed by the scan operator, which makes it ideal for accurate investigation of all cardiac valves: aortic, mitral, pulmonic, and tricuspid. In addition, CMR for valve assessment is noninvasive, free of ionizing radiation, and in most instances does not require contrast administration. The objectives of a comprehensive CMR study for evaluating valvular heart disease are threefold: (1) to provide insight into the mechanism of the valvular lesion (via anatomic assessment), (2) to quantify the severity of the valvular lesion, and (3) to discern the consequences of the valvular lesion.
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