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A volunteer who has been taking part in a heart imaging study at the Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR), has kindly donated £500 to support further work in the Centre.

Group of people standing holding a cheque, L-R: Alex Liu, Vanessa Ferreira, Stefan Neubauer, Brian Archibald, Kenneth Field and Stanton Haynes
L-R: Alex Liu, Vanessa Ferreira, Stefan Neubauer, Brian Archibald, Kenneth Field and Stanton Haynes

Mr Brian Archibald first met the OCMR team in June 2015 when he came into hospital for bypass surgery – an operation to combat blockages in the blood vessels that serve the heart. Joking that Dr Alexander Liu had ‘caught him on a bad day’, Mr Archibald volunteered to take part in a study that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess coronary heart disease.

The ‘New Cardiac MRI technique to assess for coronary artery disease study’ is run by Dr Liu, who is supervised by Prof Vanessa Ferreira and Prof Stefan Neubauer from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford.

This study uses a new MRI technique, known as “T1-mapping”, to assess the health of the heart muscle and the blood supply to the heart without the need for contrast dye injections. The team are investigating whether this new technique can predict if heart muscle can recover after blood flow to a blockage is restored. This can make MRI scans more accurate, safer and cheaper in the future so that more patients with coronary artery disease like Mr Archibald can benefit from this powerful test.

Mr Archibald was so grateful for the care and attention that he received during his time at the JR – and after – that he encouraged the Annesley Lodge number 3961 to donate to OCMR, so they can continue their good work. Mr Archibald and fellow Masons, Stanton Haynes and Kenneth Field, joined the research team on 28 November for the cheque collection.

Speaking about the importance of taking part in research, Mr Archibald said:

‘It felt good doing something to help. We get so much out of the NHS, I wanted to give back to the doctors who helped me. It was also a wonderful opportunity to learn more about my heart as the team did a great job of explaining everything and how it impacts me. The MRI scans weren’t a problem – I got to listen to Radio 2 for 30 minutes at a time with the occasional interruption from Alex!”

Mr Archibald clearly picked up a bug for taking part in research during his stay in the John Radcliffe Hospital. He also donated blood vessel tissue to the AdipoRedOx-CT study, run by Miss Laura Herdman, Miss Sheena Thomas and Prof Charis Antoniades in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. The study uses Computerised Tomography (CT) imaging to understand why bypass surgery sometimes fails just months after the operation. By looking at blood vessels from leg (where grafts are taken for use in the bypass surgery), the team hopes to understand more about why some people are more susceptible to graft failure than others.

The donation will help bolster OCMR’s stellar research portfolio into heart and liver disease. Talking about the gift, Dr Liu said: ‘We are enormously grateful to Mr Archibald and his Masonic Lodge for this kind donation. Heart MRI scans have revolutionised how we diagnose heart diseases and with extra funding like this we will be able to improve them even further.’