Norwich to use 4D flow MRI scans to help patients with heart disease

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced it’s using a cutting-edge imaging technique that creates 4D flow images of the heart, believed to be a UK first.

Dr Pankaj Garg, Honorary Consultant Cardiologist and Norwich Medical School lecturer is putting his research into clinical practice for the first time, thanks to the latest MRI equipment installed as part of an £8m project to replace ageing CT and MRI scanners and new 4D flow software.

The MRI and new 4D flow software, offers a six to eight minute non-invasive scan, which after an hour of processing, provides precise imaging of the heart valves, helping doctors determine the best course of treatment for patients.

Dr Garg, who has been working on imaging technology innovations to benefit heart disease patients since 2014, said that the standard method of diagnosing heart valve disease is with ultrasound method called echocardiography, which is limited to only one-directional flow imaging in the heart.

Dr Garg said: “It is very exciting to be able to do 4D flow scans for our patients, which is more precise and if we know more precisely where the leak is in a heart value, we are able to make better informed decisions.

“Every patient who has their scan this way is having one of the most cutting-edge scans in the country and the patients are quite excited to be getting this expertise.”