Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) continue to be the most common morbid condition of industrialized nations. The advent of and technical improvements in revascularization and medical therapy have led to a steady decline in mortality rates. However, many patients who suffer unstable angina or myocardial infarction require further testing and risk stratification to guide therapeutic selection and prognosis assignment. Myocardial edema imaging with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) affords the ability to define the amount of myocardium at risk, refine estimates of prognosis and provide guidance for therapies with excellent sensitivity compared to standard clinical markers. This review will discuss the rationale for edema imaging, how it is performed using CMR and its potential clinical applications.