Worldwide variation in cardiovascular magnetic resonance practice models


  • L.M. Sierra-Galan
  • E.E.S. Estrada-Lopez
  • V.A. Ferrari
  • S.V. Raman
  • V.M. Ferreira
  • V. Raj
  • E. Joseph
  • J. Schulz-Menger
  • C.W.S. Chan
  • S.S.M. Chen
  • Y. Cheng
  • J. De Lara Fernandez
  • M. Terashima
  • T.S.E. Albert


  • Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance


  • J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 25 (1): 38


  • INTRODUCTION: The use of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) for diagnosis and management of a broad range of cardiac and vascular conditions has quickly expanded worldwide. It is essential to understand how CMR is utilized in different regions around the world and the potential practice differences between high-volume and low-volume centers. METHODS: CMR practitioners and developers from around the world were electronically surveyed by the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) twice, requesting data from 2017. Both surveys were carefully merged, and the data were curated professionally by a data expert using cross-references in key questions and the specific media access control IP address. According to the United Nations classification, responses were analyzed by region and country and interpreted in the context of practice volumes and demography. RESULTS: From 70 countries and regions, 1092 individual responses were included. CMR was performed more often in academic (695/1014, 69%) and hospital settings (522/606, 86%), with adult cardiologists being the primary referring providers (680/818, 83%). Evaluation of cardiomyopathy was the top indication in high-volume and low-volume centers (p = 0.06). High-volume centers were significantly more likely to list evaluation of ischemic heart disease (e.g., stress CMR) as a primary indicator compared to low-volume centers (p < 0.001), while viability assessment was more commonly listed as a primary referral reason in low-volume centers (p = 0.001). Both developed and developing countries noted cost and competing technologies as top barriers to CMR growth. Access to scanners was listed as the most common barrier in developed countries (30% of responders), while lack of training (22% of responders) was the most common barrier in developing countries. CONCLUSION: This is the most extensive global assessment of CMR practice to date and provides insights from different regions worldwide. We identified CMR as heavily hospital-based, with referral volumes driven primarily by adult cardiology. Indications for CMR utilization varied by center volume. Efforts to improve the adoption and utilization of CMR should include growth beyond the traditional academic, hospital-based location and an emphasis on cardiomyopathy and viability assessment in community centers.