, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 456-465,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 28 Apr 2009

Molecular imaging of ventricular remodeling

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Introduction

Cardiovascular diseases remain the number one cause of morbidity and mortality, both in the Western world and developing countries and in men and women alike.1 In 2005, the main cause of death in the USA due to disease of the heart alone was more than of all neoplastic disease combined. It is expected that these numbers will continue to increase in the coming decades due to escalating proportions of obesity and the aging population. In addition to cardiac disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension result in substantial morbidity and mortality. Therefore, cardiovascular diseases as a whole are killer number one in the Western world, and will most likely remain to be so due to adverse lifestyle changes, including unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.

Myocardial infarction (MI) is the number one cardiac disease and often strikes the individual unexpectedly; in 50% of cases MI is the first symptom of coronary atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is characterized by