Patient in MRI


Professor Dudley Pennell
Lead academic
+44 (0)20 7351 8810

Study with NHLI

What we do

The Cardiovascular Imaging Section's research is mainly based around cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), nuclear medicine, cardiac CT and echocardiography. Our aims include research to gain a better understanding of cardiac disease so that we can develop appropriate treatments tailored to the needs of individual patients. We investigate and implement prevention strategies in cardiovascular medicine, particularly in conditions such as cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and coronary disease.

Why it is important

We use the different imaging modalities to look at diverse patient problems and each technique has particular research strengths; CMR is good for looking at myocardium and cardiac function, CT for coronary arteries, nuclear medicine for nerves to the heart and echocardiography for the valves. With our research, we help to develop new treatments for patients. The research 3T magnet at Royal Brompton Hospital is a valuable asset allowing us to work in completely novel areas such as the microstructure of the heart with diffusion tensor imaging.

Research impact

Important publications include a new theory to explain myocardial dysfunction in hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy, identifying titin as a cause of ~25% of dilated cardiomyopathy, and identifying fibrosis in the right side of the heart in congenital heart disease to predict sudden death in the future. This section also combines structural and functional cardiac imaging, with the aim of integrating these approaches and collaborating with the expertise at Imperial College in such areas as Computing, Chemistry, Materials, Fluid Dynamics and Biomedical Engineering to develop new investigational and treatment strategies. We aim to do this by increasing knowledge and understanding of the detectable abnormalities of structure and function in cardiovascular disease.

Summary of current research

Read more about our research in detail


Related Centres

We work with the Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) at the Royal Brompton and Harefield.

For Patients

For a list of our clinical services please see the Royal Brompton Heart Assessment page. This provides further details of our work aimed at healthcare professionals. Please also find general information for patients on the Royal Brompton and Harefield webpages.

Our researchers

Dr Ed Nicol MD BMedSci MBBS MRCP DTM&H Dip

Image Description

Dr Ed Nicol MD BMedSci MBBS MRCP DTM&H Dip
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer