SCMR International Outreach Committee – Rapid CMR in Cuba

Improving the diagnosis of cardiac diseases in Developing Countries with Rapid Cardiac Magnetic Resonance – “Rapid CMR”, is an international research collaboration project which has grown due to the contribution of various institutions and professionals (cardiologists, radiologists, technologists, physicists) with the support of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR). The main aim of this project is to implement a rapid CMR scan for low-middle income countries, and to deliver it, embedding it within clinical care, training and mentoring so it is a self-sustaining and essential service.

Between November 1st through the 3rd, as part of the continuous implementation of the project, the first intervention happened in La Havana, Cuba, with the visit of 6 scientific academics from Pennsylvania University, USA, University College London, Barts Heart Centre – Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital, UK and the Italian Hospital in Argentina. This is a new collaboration effort supported by the Society of Cardiovascular Medicine (SCMR) and locally with the Cardiology and Radiology Societies in Cuba, the Health Minister in Cuba and the British Embassy in Cuba.

The local organizers in Cuba, from Institute of Cardiac and Cardiovascular Surgery in la Havana were: Dr Aylen Perez, Professor Amalia Peix (main coordinators of the Project) Dr Limia Bencomo Rodriguez, Dr Aniley Martinez Gonzales, Dr Kenia Padron Garcia, Dr Lazaro Omar Cabrera Rodriguez, Dr Jorge Enriquez Aguiar Perez, Rd Reynel Perez Mohamed and Rd Carlos Oro Cortina.

The international visiting team was represented by:

  • Dr Han Yuchi, Chair of the SCMR Outreach Committee
  • Professor James Moon, University College London and Barts Heart Centre
  • Dr Sam Mohiddin, Barts Heart Centre and Queen Mary, University of London
  • Dr Diego Perez de Arenaza, Italian Hospital, Argentina and SCMR Outreach Committee
  • Dr Katia Menacho, University College London, SCMR Outreach Committee and the Peruvian Science Council, Fondecyt – Concytec.
  • Dr Andreas Seraphim, University College London and Barts Heart Centre

For this specific visit, an education and training program was delivered over 2 days and half to 164 participants (cardiologists, radiologist and technologists) from the whole country (delegates from La Havana, Matanzas, Villaclara, Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba) and international (delegates from Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Honduras, Timor Leste and Dominican Republic) between the 01st and 03rd of November. The program consisted of theory sessions covering the syllabus for Level 1 SCMR Certification, hands-on training with the support of Circle Cardiovascular Imaging and the use of 7 reporting workstations and the main plenary session with the discussion of clinical cases with experts. SCMR provided a free level I SCMR certificate as well as a 1-year free membership to all the participants.

Dr Yuchi Han says “As SCMR outreach committee, we want to extend the practice and use of CMR to more nations, with specific attention to low-middle income countries. This specific initiative is showing that cardiac MRI can be undertaken rapidly, safely and reliably. We are excited about the prospects for this technology in Cuba, to help a larger proportion of people at risk to benefit from it and to widen the message of CMR to more health professionals in the country by providing a high-level training and education opportunity.

Our sincere acknowledgments to the local sponsors of the conference: The National Hotel in Cuba, Club Habana and Solintel. You can find more information about the project on the following link: and e-mail:

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