Creation of a new dedicated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging facility in the National Amyloidosis Centre
Radiolabelled SAP scintigraphy, invented by Sir Mark Pepys in 1986, was developed for routine clinical use by him and Professor Philip Hawkins in Hawkins's PhD project in 1987-1990. It has long been a crucial component of the unique clinical research and practice of the National Amyloidosis Centre. SAP scanning is not suitable for imaging cardiac amyloidosis, for technical reasons. Fortunately, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) methods, developed in the past 10 years, now provide very sensitive and specific information about amyloid in the heart and its effects on cardiac function.
The National Amyloidosis Centre has been funded to obtain CMR tests on our patients but these have been limited by shortage of NHS CMR facilities. Professor Hawkins therefore effectively raised NHS funds for installation of a dedicated CMR facility within the Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins and it opened for patients in December 2015.
Magnificent additional fundraising for the Amyloidosis Research Fund, largely through the sponsored bike ride from Land's End to John O'Groats by Thirusha Lane and David Hutt, together with many friends and supporters, contributed significantly towards the cost.
The new scanner is, and will continue to be, tremendously helpful for diagnosis and patient management, and also of critical important for clinical development of our own and other novel treatments for amyloidosis.