BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated the consistently high diagnostic and prognostic value of dobutamine stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DCMR). The value of DCMR for clinical decision making still needs to be defined. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess the utility of DCMR regarding clinical management of patients with suspected and known coronary artery disease (CAD) in a routine setting. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively performed a standard DCMR examination in 1532 consecutive patients with suspected and known CAD. Patients were stratified according to the results of DCMR: DCMR-positive patients were recommended to undergo invasive coronary angiography and DCMR-negative patients received optimal medical treatment. Of 609 (40%) DCMR-positive patients coronary angiography was performed in 478 (78%) within 90 days. In 409 of these patients significant coronary stenoses ≥ 50% were present (positive predictive value 86%). Of 923 (60%) DCMR-negative patients 833 (90%) received optimal medical therapy. During a mean follow-up period of 2.1 ± 0.8 years (median: 2.1 years, interquartile range 1.5 to 2.7 years) 8 DCMR-negative patients (0.96%) sustained a cardiac event.In 131 DCMR-positive patients who did not undergo invasive angiography, 20 patients (15%) suffered cardiac events. In 90 DCMR-negative patients (10%) invasive angiography was performed within 2 years (range 0.01 to 2.0 years) with 56 patients having coronary stenoses ≥ 50%. CONCLUSION: In a routine setting DCMR proved a useful arbiter for clinical decision making and exhibited high utility for stratification and clinical management of patients with suspected and known CAD.