DOI: 10.3390/jcm12175563 ISSN:

Role of Cardiovascular Imaging in Risk Assessment: Recent Advances, Gaps in Evidence, and Future Directions

Francesco Perone, Marco Bernardi, Alban Redheuil, Dario Mafrica, Edoardo Conte, Luigi Spadafora, Fiona Ecarnot, Lale Tokgozoglu, Carlos G. Santos-Gallego, Sergio Emanuel Kaiser, Federica Fogacci, Annabelle Sabouret, Deepak L. Bhatt, Francesco Paneni, Maciej Banach, Raul Santos, Giuseppe Biondi Zoccai, Kausik K. Ray, Pierre Sabouret
  • General Medicine

Optimal risk assessment for primary prevention remains highly challenging. Recent registries have highlighted major discrepancies between guidelines and daily practice. Although guidelines have improved over time and provide updated risk scores, they still fail to identify a significant proportion of at-risk individuals, who then miss out on effective prevention measures until their initial ischemic events. Cardiovascular imaging is progressively assuming an increasingly pivotal role, playing a crucial part in enhancing the meticulous categorization of individuals according to their risk profiles, thus enabling the customization of precise therapeutic strategies for patients with increased cardiovascular risks. For the most part, the current approach to patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is homogeneous. However, data from registries (e.g., REACH, CORONOR) and randomized clinical trials (e.g., COMPASS, FOURIER, and ODYSSEY outcomes) highlight heterogeneity in the risks of recurrent ischemic events, which are especially higher in patients with poly-vascular disease and/or multivessel coronary disease. This indicates the need for a more individualized strategy and further research to improve definitions of individual residual risk, with a view of intensifying treatments in the subgroups with very high residual risk. In this narrative review, we discuss advances in cardiovascular imaging, its current place in the guidelines, the gaps in evidence, and perspectives for primary and secondary prevention to improve risk assessment and therapeutic strategies using cardiovascular imaging.

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