In the United States, it is estimated that in 2008 approximately 1.2 million people will suffer a new or recurrent myocardial infarction. In 2005, the latest full year for which statistics are available, 16 million Americans (7.3% of the population) had some form of coronary heart disease. Loss of myocardium as a result of myocardial infarction increases wall stress locally and globally and triggers adaptive responses at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. These adaptive responses can lead to left ventricular dilation and congestive heart failure. Accurate non-invasive evaluation of myocardial structural degeneration (damage) and left ventricular remodeling following an infarct would have both prognostic and therapeutic value clinically.

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