Lung assessment

We provide specialist lung assessment services for the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular and thoracic disease. 


A bronchoscopy is a procedure which allows a doctor to look at the trachea (windpipe), the bronchi (branches of the airways) and into some areas of the lungs. To do this, they use a bronchoscope, which is a long flexible tube with a light at the end.  

During a bronchoscopy, the bronchoscope is passed through your nose or mouth, past your larynx (voice box), down your trachea, and into the bronchi. The images taken by the bronchoscope are projected onto a TV screen so the doctor can see whether any lung disease is present or not. 

For some procedures, the bronchosope used is rigid instead of flexible and can only be inserted via the mouth. If you need this type of bronchoscope, the doctor will explain how it works. 

Inter-hospital transfer form

If you are a health professional and need to refer a patient to us for a bronchoscopy, please print and complete the form below and fax it to 020 7351 8003.

Bronchoscopy transfer form (PDF, 95KB)

Computed tomography (CT)

Harefield Hospital

Tel: 01895 828 609

The CT scanner is in the X-ray department. 

Royal Brompton Hospital

Tel: 020 7351 8220 

There are two CT scanners at the hospital

  • X-ray department, level 3, Sydney Wing (Patients should report directly to the X-ray department on level 3, or if needed, ask for help at the main reception in Sydney Street.)   

  • Basement of Fulham Wing / South Block (Patients should report to Fulham Road X-ray reception on the ground floor. The scanner can then be accessed via the central stairs or the goods lift, then follow the signs through the tunnel. Patients with mobility issues will be accommodated at the Sydney Street CT scanner. If you are a wheelchair user, please let us know before coming in for your appointment so we can make the necessary arrangements.)

Chest CT

These are performed for a whole range of chest diseases, including pulmonary infections, suspected tumours or staging purpose, large and small airway diseases, pneumoconiosis, pleural diseases, pulmonary embolism, and end-stage lung disease. Patients with end-stage lung disease are assessed for their suitability for lung transplantation. Scans are also performed in patients after transplantation to detect any complications.

Cardiac CT 

We perform the following heart CT scans:  :

Coronary artery calcium scoring: This is an ECG gated (triggered ) scan of the heart performed to detect calcification in the coronary arteries. Traditionally coronary artery calcium scanning is performed on EBCT scanner (Electron Beam CT scanner). However, the latest research shows that multislice CT scanners are as accurate as the EBCT scanners. We have been performing CT calcium scoring since 1999 and offer it for both NHS and private patients.

CT angiography of coronary arteries: This is an ECG gated scan with intravenous contrast to evaluate either the native coronary arteries or the bypass grafts. The new scanner is able to perform non-invasive coronary angiography at high resolution with a breath-hold of less than 10 seconds. The total time the patient may have to stay in the department generally varies between 30-60 minutes depending upon the requirement for a beta-blocker to reduce the heart rate.

Vascular CT angiography: We perform CT angiography on vessels particularly for pulmonary arteries, aorta, carotid and renal arteries. Angiography of the whole peripheral arterial system can also be obtained in a single run.

CT-guided intervention: We perform biopsies of pulmonary and pleural nodules/masses under CT fluoroscopic guidance. These are performed after referral and discussion with cardiothoracic surgeons or chest physicians.

Scanning technology 

Harefield Hospital has a cardiac-optimized 64-slice CT scanner (Toshiba Aquilion 64). This scanner is Toshiba's first scanner in the UK with fastest gantry rotation (0.35ms) and higher power generator.  It has been configured for dedicated ultra-fast cardiac and thoracic scanning, both for clinical and research purposes. The scanner has facilities for advanced ECG gating and fluoroscopic procedures. There are advanced post-processing workstations with cardiac, vascular and pulmonary analysis software.

Fluoroscopy procedures

Fluoroscopy procedures are undertaken on screening equipment capable of tilting to a vertical position.

The procedures performed include studies for oesophagus, stomach and small bowel using barium and other water-soluble contrast media. Other procedures like ganglion block for pain relief under fluoroscopic guidance are performed by the anaesthetists.

Fluoroscopy procedures involve X-rays, therefore patients must be referred by a doctor and discussed with a radiologist to comply with IRMR regulations.

Ultrasound and Doppler examinations

The department has a dedicated Hitachi ultrasound machine with full radiological capability and limited cardiac software.

This is mainly used for ultrasound examination of abdomen, pelvis and chest, but scans of thyroid, neck and scrotum can also be performed. Doppler studies of the vessels (both arteries and veins) of most parts of the body (commonly legs and carotid arteries of the neck) are undertaken. Interventional procedures like aspiration and drainage of pleural effusions, abscesses and biopsies under ultrasound guidance are routinely performed.

Patients are generally referred by the doctors within the hospital. Ultrasound studies are also performed for the local GP surgery on request. Outside referrals can be undertaken under special situations.

X-rays (plain radiography)

These are undertaken in the two general rooms at Harefield Hospital that are equipped with chest radiography equipment and a number of mobile X-ray units. The department has computed radiography facilities (CR) and the main chest unit was recently upgraded to a digital radiography (DR) unit. All plain radiographs are transmitted to the hospital PACS (picture archiving and communication system) system for diagnosis, review and archiving.

Most of the plain radiographs performed are of the chest, but X-rays of other parts of the body including abdomen, spine and extremities are also obtained.

All the X-rays have to be referred by a medically qualified doctor or by a nurse practitioner under the local rules to comply with the IRMER regulations.

No preparation is required for patients undergoing an X-ray examination.