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Cardiovascular magnetic resonance activity in the United Kingdom: a survey on behalf of the british society of cardiovascular magnetic resonance

Renjith Antony1, Marwa Daghem1, Gerry P McCann23, Safa Daghem1, James Moon2, Dudley J Pennell4, Stefan Neubauer2, Henry J Dargie2, Colin Berry6, John Payne1, Mark C Petrie1* and Nathaniel M Hawkins5

Author Affiliations

1 Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, Golden Jubilee Hospital, Agamemnon Street, Glasgow, G81 4DY, UK

2 British Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, BSCMR Secretariat, "Nought", The Farthings, Oxfordshire, OX13 6QD, UK

3 University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the Leicester NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9QP, UK

4 National Institute of Health Research, Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP, UK

5 Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine & Science, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, Liverpool, L14 3PE, UK

6 University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2011, 13:57  doi:10.1186/1532-429X-13-57

Published: 6 October 2011



The indications, complexity and capabilities of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) have rapidly expanded. Whether actual service provision and training have developed in parallel is unknown.


We undertook a systematic telephone and postal survey of all public hospitals on behalf of the British Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance to identify all CMR providers within the United Kingdom.


Of the 60 CMR centres identified, 88% responded to a detailed questionnaire. Services are led by cardiologists and radiologists in equal proportion, though the majority of current trainees are cardiologists. The mean number of CMR scans performed annually per centre increased by 44% over two years. This trend was consistent across centres of different scanning volumes. The commonest indication for CMR was assessment of heart failure and cardiomyopathy (39%), followed by coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease. There was striking geographical variation in CMR availability, numbers of scans performed, and distribution of trainees. Centres without on site scanning capability refer very few patients for CMR. Just over half of centres had a formal training programme, and few performed regular audit.


The number of CMR scans performed in the UK has increased dramatically in just two years. Trainees are mainly located in large volume centres and enrolled in cardiology as opposed to radiology training programmes.