Most powerful scanner of its kind recognised at Royal Brompton Hospital


Royal Brompton Hospital and medical technology company Siemens Healthineers have celebrated two decades of partnership by marking the installation of the most powerful scanner of its kind in the centre of diagnostic expertise in Chelsea.

The Magnetom Cima.X Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system was purchased with help from the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) based at Imperial College London and is the first of its kind to have been installed in the UK.

The Royal Brompton Hospital Charity also contributed to the cost of the new scanner housed in the Squire Centre at Royal Brompton, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust now has the largest heart MRI scanning service for NHS patients in the country, and one of the largest in the world.

Professor Dudley Penell at a reception to mark the installation of the new scanner

“This is a real jewel in the crown for the NHLI, for Royal Brompton, and for Guy’s and St Thomas’” said Dudley Pennell, Professor of Cardiology at the NHLI and director of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Unit at Royal Brompton.

“That we are now able to offer our patients five CMR scanners, and conduct 20,000 scans a year, is a huge credit to our long partnership with Siemens and their cutting-edge technology and expertise.”

Interim Head of the NHLI Clare Lloyd said: “This new scanner will further our ability to conduct world-leading research in cardiology at the NHLI, Imperial College London, to build on our expertise in this area and ultimately benefit patients through better understanding, and treatment, of disease. Our partnership with the Royal Brompton Hospital allows us to undertake top notch patient care and I am delighted that this addition to the scanning service will enable us to benefit more people.”

At a reception to mark the installation of the new scanner, Deputy Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Lawrence Tallon said the powerful new technology showed what a “global powerhouse of clinical care and research” the Trust had become, through its merger with the Royal Brompton in 2021.

Lawrence Tallon, Deputy Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

“It is absolutely crucial to create a more personalised health service in the future, and to do that we need academic partners and deep industry partnerships where we stick with each other and really invest in equipment over the long term,” said Mr Tallon.

Andreas Schneck, head of MRI at Siemens Healthineers, said at the event: “What really sets Royal Brompton apart is that you have a unique position with innovative technology, huge clinical throughput of patients, and leadership that truly has a vision of where it wants to go.”

Mr Schneck pointed out that Siemens had published many joint research papers with the Royal Brompton, which has more than 1,000 research papers on cardiac scans and several textbooks to its name.


The new scanner will be used for research, particularly for ‘diffusion tensor’ CMR which can define the micro-architecture of the heart enabling deep, new understanding of how it works, in three dimensions at a microscopic level.

The Royal Brompton has a long and prestigious history in using diagnostic tools to help its patients. It was one of the first hospitals to use ECGs (electrocardiograms) to study the heart in the early 20th century and was one of the first to open a cardiac MRI centre exactly forty years ago.

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