DOCTORS have carried out the first high definition MRI heart scan at an East Sussex NHS Trust hospital.

The scan was undertaken at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards using a new machine that can monitor heart disease and evaluate the organ’s anatomy.

It gives a detailed picture of the heart, so patients will no longer have to travel to specialist hospitals elsewhere to get a quality scan.

The machine can investigate heart muscle conditions, damage to the heart muscle, heart valve disease, and blood supply to the heart.

Consultant cardiologist at the Trust Professor Nik Patel said: “This new scan will be a significant addition to our range of cardiac investigations.

“It will mean that fewer patients will need to travel to specialist hospitals in London for this test.”

Consultant radiologist Dr Justin Harris said: “The new MRI scanner will help us build on our cardiac imaging service.

“It means we are able to undertake more detailed investigations, improving our diagnostic capability.”

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures in and around the heart. MRI scans do not use ionizing radiation to produce images. For a number of conditions, they provide the best possible images of the heart.