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The availability of an accurate, noninvasive method using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to distinguish microscopic myocardial tissue changes at a macroscopic scale is well established. High-resolution in vivo monitoring of different pathologic tissue changes in the heart is a useful clinical tool for assessing the nature and extent of cardiac pathology. Cardiac MRI utilizes myocardial signal characteristics based on relaxation parameters such as T1, T2, and T2 star values. Identifying changes in relaxation time enables the detection of distinctive myocardial diseases such as cardiomyopathies and ischemic myocardial injury. The presented state-of-the-art review paper serves the purpose of introducing and summarizing MRI capability of tissue characterization in present clinical practice.