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Dr Rafael Alonso

Dr Rafael Alonso headshot

Consultant cardiologist and honorary senior lecturer






Dr Alonso is a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and an honorary senior lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London. 

Education and background

Dr Alonso graduated in 2000 at the Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain).

He did his specialist cardiology training in Badajoz and Madrid, Spain and was appointed as consultant cardiologist in Badajoz in 2008. 

In 2009, he relocated to Royal Brompton Hospital to gain further expertise in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Dr Alonso joined the ACHD consultant team in 2012. 

Dr Alonso has master’s degrees in:

  • medical statistics (University of Barcelona) 
  • pulmonary hypertension (Complutense University, Madrid). 


Clinical expertise

Dr Alonso is an integral member of the ACHD and pulmonary hypertension services. He is the lead clinician for inpatient care and coordinates the advanced ACHD heart failure service, including the joint ACHD-transplant clinic at Harefield Hospital. 

Research interest

Dr Alonso’s research interests include:

  • the management of advanced heart failure in patients with congenital heart disease
  • the long-term sequelae (conditions due to previous disease) of single ventricle physiology. 



Dr Alonso is experienced in teaching both undergraduates and postgraduates and leads the ACHD international fellowship programme. 

He has lectured internationally and published numerous peer review papers across a wide range of topics in cardiac diseases. 

In addition, he is a reviewer for several international journals. 


Dr Alonso is a member of the:  

  • European Society of Cardiology
  • Spanish Society of Cardiology
  • British Congenital Cardiac Association. 


He is also member of the pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease working groups of the European Society of Cardiology. 


  • Karonis T, Scognamiglio G, Babu-Narayan SV, Montanaro C, Uebing A, Diller GP, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA, Li W. Clinical course and potential complications of small ventricular septal defects in adulthood: Late development of left ventricular dysfunction justifies lifelong care. Int J Cardiol. 2016;208:102-6.

  • Ministeri M, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L, Dimopoulos K. Common long-term complications of adult congenital heart disease: avoid falling in a H.E.A.P. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther.25:1-18.

  • Kempny A, Diller GP, Dimopoulos K, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Uebing A, Li W, Babu-Narayan S, Swan L, Wort SJ, Gatzoulis MA. Determinants of outpatient clinic attendance amongst adults with congenital heart disease and outcome. Int J Cardiol. 2016;203:245-50.

  • Diller GP, Bräutigam A, Kempny A, Uebing A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L, Babu-Narayan SV, Baumgartner H, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Depression requiring anti-depressant drug therapy in adult congenital heart disease: prevalence, risk factors, and prognostic value. Eur Heart J. 2016;37:771-82.

  • Diller GP, Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L, Uebing A, Li W, Babu-Narayan S, Wort SJ, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Survival Prospects and Circumstances of Death in Contemporary Adult Congenital Heart Disease Patients Under Follow-Up at a Large Tertiary Centre. Circulation. 2015;132:2118-25. 

  • Dimopoulos K, Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Wort SJ. Percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: Challenges and future directions. Int J Cardiol 2015;27:187 (Editorial).

  • Mills R, Alam MH, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Rubens MD, Gatzoulis MA. A case of malignant aortic calcification in congenital heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Int J Cardiol. 2015;186:152-153.

  • Ramírez-Moreno JM, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Peral Pacheco D, Millán-Nuñez MV, Aguirre-Sánchez JJ. Stroke awareness is worse among the old and poorly educated: A Population-Based study. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015;24:1038-46.


  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Jimenez Lopez-Guarch C, Subirana-Domenech MT, Oliver-Ruiz JM, Gallego P, Segovia-Cubero J, Otero-Gonzalez I, Quero-Jimenez M, Almenar-Bonet L, Sala-Llinas E, Egurbide-Arberas V, Jimenez-Arjona J, Escribano-Subias P. Pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease: An insight from them REHAP National Registry. Int J Cardiol. 2015;184:717-23.  

  • Ramírez-Moreno JM, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Peral Pacheco D, Millán-Nuñez MV, Roa-Montero A, Constantino-Silva AB, Aguirre-Sánchez JJ. Effect of socioeconomic level on knowledge of stroke in the general population: A social inequality gradient. Neurologia. 2014 Aug 11. [Epub ahead].

  • Orton CM, Norrington K, Alam H, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Gatzoulis M. The danger of wearing your heart on your sleeve. Int J Cardiol. 2014;175:e6-7.

  • Kahr PC, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Kempny A, Orwat S, Uebing A, Dimopoulos K, Swan L, Baumgartner H, Gatzoulis MA, Diller GP. Long-term natural history and postoperative outcome of double-chambered right ventricle--experience from two tertiary adult congenital heart centres and review of the literature. Int J Cardiol. 2014;174:662-8.

  • Scognamiglio G, Kempny A, Price LC, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Marino P, Swan L, D' Alto M, Hooper J, Gatzoulis MA, Dimopoulos K, Wort SJ. C-reactive protein in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with congenital heart disease and its prognostic value. Heart. 2014;100:1335-41.

  • Chen SS, Dimopoulos K, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Liodakis E, Teijeira-Fernandez E, Alvarez-Barredo M, Kempny A, Diller G, Uebing A, Shore D, Swan L, Kilner PJ, Gatzoulis MA, Mohiaddin RH. Prevalence and prognostic implication of restenosis or dilatation at the aortic coarctation repair site assessed by cardiovascular MRI in adult patients late after coarctation repair. Int J Cardiol. 2014;173(2):209-15.

  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L. Treating cardiac disease in pregnancy. Women Health (Lond Eng) 2014; 10:79-90.

  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L. Non-invasive imaging in congenital heart disease. SA Heart Journal 2013; 10:592-98.

  • Kempny A, Fernández-Jiménez R, Tutarel O, Dimopoulos K, Uebing A, Shiina Y, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Li W, Swan L, Baumgartner H, Gatzoulis MA, Diller GP. Meeting the challenge: The evolving global landscape of adult congenital heart disease. Int J Cardiol 2013; 168:5182-9.


  • Kempny A, Dimopoulos K, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Alvarez-Barredo M, Tutarel O, Uebing A, Piatek P, Marino P, Swan L, Diller GP, Wort SJ, Gatzoulis MA. Six-minute walk test distance and resting oxygen saturations but not functional class predict outcome in adult patients with Eisenmenger syndrome. Int J Cardiol 2013 168:4784-9.

  • Tutarel O, Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Jabbour R, Li W, Uebing A, Dimopoulos K, Swan L, Gatzoulis MA, Diller GP. Congenital heart disease beyond the age of 60: emergence of a new population with high resource utilization, high morbidity and high mortality. Eur Heart J 2013 Jul 23. [Epub ahead]. 

  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Dimopoulos K. Biomarkers in congenital heart disease: do natriuretic peptides hold the key?. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2013; 11:773-84. 

  • Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Dimopoulos K. Relationship of cardiac output to respiratory pattern and pressures in patients with fontan circulation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013; 61:2314.

  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Borgia F, Diller DP, Inuzuka R, Marino P, Wustmann K, Charalambides M, Silva M, Swan L, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis M. Restrictive lung defects are prevalent, relate to underlying anatomy and are associated with worse outcome in contemporary adult patients with congenital heart disease. Circulation 2013; 127:882-890. 

  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Swan L. Management of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy. (Editorial) Prim Care Cardiovasc J2012; 5:56.

  • Diller GP, Radojevic J, Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Liodakis E, Orwat S, Swan L, Uebing A, Li W, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA, Baumgartner H. Systemic right ventricular longitudinal strain is reduced in adults with transposition of the great arteries, relates to subpulmonary ventricular function and predicts adverse clinical outcome. Am Heart J. 2012; 163:859-866.

  • Alegría-Barredo E, Foin N, ChanPH, Syrseloudis D, Lyndsay AC, Dimopoulos K, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Vececonte N, De Silva R, Di Mario C. Optical coherence tomography for guidance of distal cell recrossing in bifurcation stenting: choosing the right cell matters. Eurointervention 2012; 8:205-213.

  • Diller GP, Inuzuka R, Kempny A, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Liodakis E, Borgia F, Lockhart CJ, Prapa M, Lammers A, Swan L, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis M. Detrimental impact of socioeconomic status on exercise capacity in adults with congenital heart disease. Int J Cardiol. 2013; 165:80-6.

  • Radojevic J, Inuzuka R, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Borgia F, Giannakoulas G, Liodakis E, Li W, Swan L, Diller GP, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis M. Peak oxygen uptake correlates with disease severity and predicts outcome in adultpatients with Ebstein's anomaly of the tricuspid valve. Int J Cardiol. 2013; 163:305-8.

  • Diller GP, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Dimopoulos K, Alvarez-Barredo M, Koo C, Kempny A, Harries C, Parfitt L, Uebing AS, Swan L, Marino PS, Wort SJ, Gatzoulis MA. Disease targeting therapies in patients with Eisenmenger syndrome: Response to treatment and long-term efficiency. Int J Cardiol 2013; 167:840-7.

  • Diller GP, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Kempny A, Dimopoulos K, Inuzuka R, Giannakoulas G, Castle L, Lammers AE, Hooper J, Uebing A, Swan L, Gatzoulis M, Wort SJ. B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations in contemporary Eisenmenger syndrome patients: predictive value and response to disease targeting therapy. Heart 2012; 98:736-42.

  • Diller GP, Kempy A, Liodakis M, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Inuzuka R, Uebing A, Orwat S, Dimopoulos K, Swan L, Li W, Gatzoulis MA, Baumgartner H. Left ventricular longitudinal function predicts life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia and death in adults with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Circulation 2012; 125: 2440-46.

  • Heng EL, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Majekodunmi E, Dimopoulos K, Nicholson AG, Gatzoulis MA, Swan L. A bleeding conundrum. Int J Cardiol. 2012; 156:115-6.

  • Inuzuka R, Diller GP, Borgia F, Benson L, Tay EL, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Silva M, Charalambides M, Swan L, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Comprehensive use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing identifies adults with congenital heart disease at increased mortality risk in the medium term. Circulation 2012; 125:250-59.


  • Tay EL, Gibson D, Inuzuka R, Josen M, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Giannakoulas G, Li W, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Total isovolumic time relates to exercise capacity in patients with transposition of the great arteries late after atrial switch procedures. Cardiol Young 2012; 22:381-89.


  • Tay E, Papaphylactou M, Diller GP, Inuzuka R, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Giannakoulas G, Tzifa A, Goletto S, Broberg C, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Quality of life and functional capacity can be improved in patients with Eisenmenger syndrome with oral sildenafil therapy. Int J Cardiol 2011; 149:372-76.


  • Tay E, Peset A, Papaphylactou M, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Inuzuka R, Giannakoulas G, Harris C, Wort SJ, Swan L, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MA. Replacement therapy for iron deficiency improves exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease and/or the Eisenmenger syndrome. Int J Cardiol. 2011; 151:307-12.


  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Li W. Diastolic dysfunction in patients with Kawasaki disease (Editorial). Int J Cardiol 2010; 145:520-21.


  • Alonso-Gonzalez R, Dimopoulos K, Ho Y, Oliver JM, Gatzoulis MA. The right heart and pulmonary circulation (IX). The right heart in adults with congenital heart disease. Rev Esp Cardiol 2010; 63:1070-86.


  • Oliver JM, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Gonzalez AE, Gallego P, Sanchez-Recalde A, Cuesta E, Aroca A, Lopez-Sendon JL. Risk for aortic root or ascending aorta complications in bicuspid aortic valve with and without coarctation of the aorta. Am J Cardiol 2009; 104:1001-6.


  • Gatzoulis MA, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Beghetti M. Pulmonary arterial hypertension in paediatric and adult patients with congenital heart disease (Review). Eur Respir Rev 2009; 18:154–61.


  • Ruiz-Cano MJ, Escribano P, Alonso R, Delgado J, Gomez MA, Sáenz de la Calzada C. Comparison of baseline characteristics and survival between patients with idiopathic and connective tissue disease-related pulmonary arterial hypertension. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009; 28:621-27.


  • Lopez-Minguez JR, Nogales JM, Gonzalez R, Palanco C, Doncel J, Vaello A, Giménez F, Morales A, Alonso R, Merchan A. Abciximab offers greater benefits to insulin-dependent diabetic patients undergoing coronary stent implantation. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2007; 8:175-82.


  • Mateos Caballero L, Nogales Asensio JM, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Garrido Romero JJ. Constrictive pericarditis as the first sign of lung cancer. Arch Bronconeumol 2006; 42:601-3.


  • Isa-Param R, Pérez-Castellano N, Villacastín J, Moreno Planas J, Salinas Arce J, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Ruíz E, Doblado Calatrava M, Morales R, Macaya C. Inducibility of atrial arrhythmias after adenosine and isoproterenol infusion in patients referred for atrial fibrillation ablation (Spanish). Rev Esp Cardiol 2006; 59:559-66.


  • López-Mínguez JR, Nogales JM, Morales A, Alonso R, Gonzalez R, Merchán A.  Clinical and angiographic follow-up in patients with Cypher or Taxus stents in populations with high percentage of trial-excluded lesions. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2005; 6:92-8.

  • Nogales JM, Fuentes ME, Morales A, Martínez L, Marzal D, Alonso R. Neurohormonal prediction of post-infarction ventricular dysfunction and coronary disease. (Spanish) Rev Esp Cardiol 2004; 57:472-75.

  • López-Mínguez JR., Fuentes Cañamero ME, Doblado Calatrava M, Merchán Herrera A, Martínez Moreno A, González Fernández R, Alonso-Gonzalez R, Alonso Ruiz F. Prognostic role of systemic hypertension and diabetes mellitus in patients with unstable angina undergoing coronary stenting (Spanish) Rev Esp Cardiol 2003; 56:987-94.

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