Ten-grand donation funds sophisticated diagnostic equipment
19 July 2013
A hefty £10,000 donation to Southend University Hospital’s rheumatology department will make it easier for clinicians to diagnose a painful inflammatory condition.
The money from the Advanced Surgical Equipment Trust (ASET) has
bought contrast enhanced ultrasound equipment which injects a dye
into blood vessels to help doctors detect inflammation caused by
giant cell arteritis (GCA) - which particularly affects the blood
vessels in the head - and its associated condition polymyalgia
Prof Bhaskar Dasgupta, an internationally-renowned expert on
both these debilitating diseases, said: "We have just introduced
this technique at Southend and the generous donation from ASET will
be a tremendous help for our patients as it will enable us to give
them a firm diagnosis much more rapidly.
"It will also be a great boost for a research project we are
currently working on in PMR. Consultant radiologist Dr Matthew Tam
will be taking ultrasound-guided biopsies from inflamed shoulder
tissue in new cases of PMR. This will give us a better insight into
the cause of the condition and develop new therapies for it. At
present the only available treatment is corticosteroids. However, a
significant number of patients are resistant to this treatment:
steroids cause numerous side effects and we need to find better and
safer drug regimes."
The cheque was presented by ASET chairman John Gibson (left) to
Prof Dasgupta (right) and consultant radiologist Dr Matthew
ASET is a long-standing benefactor of the hospital, having
funded equipment worth more than £1.3m over the years.