LONDON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ --

- "Coronary Artery Disease Can be Silent, Like a Volcano Lying Dormant. Now we are Able to Accurately Predict a Coronary Eruption."

World renowned cardiologist and Medical Director of The British Cardiac Research Trust (BCRT), Professor Avijit Lahiri, today announced the launch of a new Clinical Imaging and Research Centre (CIRC) at The Wellington Hospital which is set potentially to transform the diagnosis of heart disease. The Centre combines the expertise of a world-leading cardiologist, with a scanning service that can successfully and accurately diagnose up to 99 percent of all cases of coronary artery disease (CAD), including those in the benign stage. The launch of this centre means that patients will have a greatly increased chance of avoiding a heart attack, and death, with more accurate and earlier diagnoses leading to appropriate treatment.

"The Centre can potentially save thousands of lives. Coronary Artery Disease - the silent killer - is a volcano lying dormant and waiting to erupt; it is the most common cause of death in the UK, killing one in five men and one in six women annually," commented Professor Lahiri. "By diagnosing and treating heart disease in the early benign stages, we can reduce these figures and transform the prognosis of this disease. I am excited with the potential of this unit and believe it provides an unparalleled service in Europe."

The CIRC uses the latest and most sophisticated Dual-Source & Dual-Energy CT scanner, by Siemens. As well as producing images of greater resolution and accuracy, it is a significant improvement on traditional methods:

- It is more cost-effective

- It is non-invasive

- It is quicker (taking less than 15 minutes)

- It is painless.

Ongoing Research in collaboration with the NHS

Professor Lahiri is working closely with the NHS to further explore the potential of this service: the RADICAL trial is already underway and will involve the study of 800 patients presenting to three NHS 'chest pain' clinics. It will involve Barnet General, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, evaluating the diagnostic benefits of using Dual-Source & Dual-Energy CT angiography compared with nuclear imaging (myocardial perfusion imaging) and coronary artery calcium imaging versus standard NHS investigation (including angiography).

Lord Bilimoria, Trustee of the BCRT comments, "Professor Lahiri's ongoing research, supported by the NHS, shows us the real benefits that this new scanning technology can provide to patients with heart disease. I believe that the work being undertaken at the Clinical Imaging and Research Centre could potentially help to prevent the onset of heart attacks in millions of patients in the UK by detecting CAD in its earliest stages."

Notes to Editor: Additional information

Dual-Source & Dual-Energy CT Scan - what does it involve?

The whole process lasts a maximum of 15 minutes, there is no preparation needed for the scan, and patients won't be required to stop any of their regular medications prior to the scan. The patients will lie on a bed similar to that of a CT scan machine, and will be asked to hold their breath in two intervals in order for the scanner to take the cross section images.


Completed Research Trials

The Wellington Hospital Diabetes Trial (2002 - 2006)

This trial took place in three phases with final publications referenced by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology "guidelines" for imaging in high risk patients. The data, established the role of coronary calcium imaging in asymptomatic diabetic patients, has been presented nationally and internationally.

The Whitehall Trial

This trial is a Government and Imperial College based study evaluating the role of coronary artery calcium imaging in British Civil Servants to assess its value in cardiac risk stratification.

Ongoing Research Trials

Information on the ongoing research trials is available on request.

The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital is the UK's largest private hospital. It has long had an international reputation as a centre of excellence for cardiac medicine.

For further information, please contact: Sara Singer, Weber Shandwick, Phone: +44-20-7067-0188, Email:; Holly Brafman, Weber Shandwick, Phone:+44-20-7067-0451, Email: