Heart scans are now being carried out on the recently opened state of the art scanner at the University Hospital of North Tees.
The advanced 3T Magnetom Skyra MRI scanner was opened in the summer as part of a £1.6million investment by the trust and Alliance Medical.
Consultant cardiologist, Dr Nic Child: “This MRI scanner has in-built cardiac imaging capability which allows us to carry out cardiac MRI examinations to help diagnose and treat more patients in the local area.
“It means patients needing these scans have access to high quality cardiac MRI at a hospital closer to home rather than having to travel further to get this treatment.
“We have been able to set up this service due to collaboration with cardiology colleagues at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, so we would like to thank them for that.”
Alex has an inherited condition known as Fabry’s disease, caused by abnormal amounts of a particular fatty substance being deposited in blood vessels, due to the lack of an enzyme and which have led to various health issues including a fast heart rate.
She said: “This condition is quite rare, so much so that I have received most of my treatment from outside of the region from a specialist hospital in Manchester. In the past I have been for scans at hospitals in the North East but this new service at North Tees has been really beneficial. It is very close to where I live and I was really pleased with the fantastic quality of treatment I had from Dr Child and his colleagues, I am very grateful.
“I was only diagnosed with this condition in 2008 – I am suffering with kidney and heart problems. At its worst, my heart rate was 150-200 beats a minute. We have since found out that my two daughters also have the condition. The progression of my condition is being slowed down thanks to the treatment I have received.”
The 3.0T scanner includes an increased Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) capability to produce high resolution images, which allows clinicians to perform key cardiac examinations and quickly diagnose conditions such as ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathies, valvular heart disease and inflammatory diseases of the myocardium and pericardium. The equipment is playing an instrumental role in helping to reduce waiting times for both cardiac and non-cardiac scans and help meet local demand for scans.