Cardiovascular MRI scans: the heart of cost-effective diagnosis

Case study

The challenge

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a type of heart disease and a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Heart disease affects 1.98 million people in the UK and treatment costs the UK £9 billion per year. Until recently, expensive and invasive tests were needed to diagnose CAD before it could be treated.  

The solution

Research carried out by Professor John Greenwood and Professor Sven Plein helped to determine that Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) imaging can be a more cost-effective and safer alternative to traditional diagnostic tests. They undertook the largest study on the diagnostic accuracy, prognostic ability and cost-effectiveness of CMR imaging. It showed that current standard clinical tests can be greatly improved upon, by utilising CMR imaging scans in the diagnosis of heart disease. 

The impact

The introduction of CMR into routine clinical practice has had a profound effect on patients living with heart disease: giving them access to safer and more accurate diagnostic testing, meaning they can receive the best treatment options as quickly as possible. This reduces the need for more expensive and invasive diagnostic tests and allows resources to be used elsewhere in the NHS to help more patients.