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In contrast to invasive techniques, the goal of non-invasive cardiac imaging is to identify or exclude heart disease in response to a patient's clinical history of cardiac localizing symptoms. Imaging also aims to establish the risk of an individual developing future heart disease with a view to preventing major cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction. As well as a role in risk stratification, non-invasive cardiac imaging also helps with decision making for future medical and procedural interventions. This review outlines the non-invasive imaging modalities available to physicians to identify and risk stratify cardiovascular disease. It discusses the strengths of each imaging technique, in which circumstances it is most useful and its diagnostic accuracy.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of hospital medicine (London, England : 2005)

Publication Date





392 - 398


Cardiology Registrar, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, and Department of Cardiology, Wycombe Hospital, Buckinghamshire NHS Trust, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2TT.


Heart, Humans, Heart Diseases, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Coronary Angiography, Echocardiography, Echocardiography, Stress, Echocardiography, Transesophageal, Myocardial Perfusion Imaging, Vascular Calcification, Computed Tomography Angiography