The purpose of this systematic review is to provide a clinically relevant, disease-based perspective on myocardial strain imaging in patients with acute myocardial infarction or stable ischemic heart disease. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging uniquely integrates myocardial function with pathology. Therefore, this review focuses on strain imaging with cardiac magnetic resonance. We have specifically considered the relationships between left ventricular (LV) strain, infarct pathologies, and their associations with prognosis. A comprehensive literature review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Publications were identified that (1) described the relationship between strain and infarct pathologies, (2) assessed the relationship between strain and subsequent LV outcomes, and (3) assessed the relationship between strain and health outcomes. In patients with acute myocardial infarction, circumferential strain predicts the recovery of LV systolic function in the longer term. The prognostic value of longitudinal strain is less certain. Strain differentiates between infarcted versus noninfarcted myocardium, even in patients with stable ischemic heart disease with preserved LV ejection fraction. Strain recovery is impaired in infarcted segments with intramyocardial hemorrhage or microvascular obstruction. There are practical limitations to measuring strain with cardiac magnetic resonance in the acute setting, and knowledge gaps, including the lack of data showing incremental value in clinical practice. Critically, studies of cardiac magnetic resonance strain imaging in patients with ischemic heart disease have been limited by sample size and design. Strain imaging has potential as a tool to assess for early or subclinical changes in LV function, and strain is now being included as a surrogate measure of outcome in therapeutic trials.