General Anaesthetic MRI/CT Service

Neil Crooks, consultant in Anaesthesia and intensive care medicine, and Nikki Brockie, imaging services lead, have recently established an elective service to provide MRI and CT scans under general anaesthesia.

The service is aimed at patients who are unable to tolerate scans awake. To date, patients have come from a range of specialities including neurology, acute medicine, orthopaedics, ENT and infectious diseases, but the service is open to all specialities. There are a variety of reasons why patients cannot tolerate these procedures awake, but common examples include learning difficulties, movement disorders and pain.

Up until now there has been no formal arrangement to facilitate scans for this group of patients. This has led to prolonged waiting times, with scans being done on an ad hoc basis when appropriate expertise was available.

By providing this service we can give patients a date for their scan. This allows proper pre-assessment and planning. It also allows carers time to prepare and plan for those patients with learning difficulties. A team with appropriate expertise (Consultant anaesthetist/ intensivist, ODP and ITU nurse) will look after these patients.

The service currently runs every fourth Thursday and three to four patients can be accommodated per day. With prior arrangement, it may be possible to carry out other procedures e.g. blood tests, ECGs while the patient is asleep.

Due to the limited number of places on each list, requests must only come from consultants. Requests can be made via the following email address: If you wish to discuss a request directly, please contact:

Requests for urgent inpatient scans should continue to be arranged by contacting the ITU registrar on call via bleep 2336.

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