Dr Qasim Akram

BSc(Hons) MBChB FRCP(London) FRCP(Rheum) PGCertClinEd

Consultant Rheumatologist and General Physician

EULAR Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology Ultrasound Expert & Instructor

Dr Qasim Akram has a busy NHS practice at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Macclesfield District General Hospital and a private practice at Spire Regency Macclesfield and The Wilmslow Hospital

Dr Akram has a subspecialist interest in Early Inflammatory Arthritis, Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound and Giant Cell Arteritis/Large Vessel Vasculitis. He is a national expert in Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound in Rheumatology.

He currently leads on the Stockport Early Inflammatory Arthritis ‘One Stop Shop’ Ultrasound Clinic and the Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) ‘Fast Track Ultrasound’ Clinic. Both of these unique and dynamic clinics focusing on improving quality of patient care have been featured in the Stockport Edition of the Manchester Evening News. Dr Akram leads on several national clinical trials investigating treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and relating to imaging techniques especially ultrasound. He is part of the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) Ultrasound Special Interest Group and is fully accredited as a European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Ultrasound Instructor. He is regularly invited to teach on national ultrasound courses including for the BSR and is currently a tutor for the PGCert In MSk Ultrasound at Brunel University, London. He is a lead tutor for the North West Rheumatology Ultrasound Network.

In both his NHS and private practice, Dr Akram sees a wide range of patients with rheumatological and general medical problems. He specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with complex multi-system autoimmune conditions including inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica), crystal arthritides such as gout, systemic vasculitides including giant cell arteritis/large vessel vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Raynaud’s phenomenon and other connective tissue diseases. He also manages patients with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, soft tissue musculo-skeletal diseases and fibromyalgia/ chronic pain syndromes. He is experienced and knowledgeable about all the latest treatments for rheumatic diseases including biologic and non-biologic therapies i.e., DMARDs and keeps up to date through attending either the EULAR or the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) scientific congress annually.

Dr Akram is highly skilled in the use of musculo-skeletal ultrasound in rheumatological disease. He uses this for the detection of the early signs, or clinically undetectable, inflammatory arthritis. Using this technique alongside his consultation, and as part of a ‘one stop shop’ clinic, he has successfully ensured an earlier diagnosis and subsequent treatment for inflammatory arthritis patients. The one stop clinic has been shown to improve disease outcomes and patient experience and is part of a national recommendation recommending best practice for inflammatory arthritis patients. In addition to this, he also uses ultrasound to detect soft tissue and tendon disorders, assess treatment responses to biologic therapies and to help accurately guide steroid injections (for inflamed joints/tendons, osteoarthritis, soft tissues e.g., carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, tennis/golfer’s elbow or tendinopathy of any cause).

Dr Akram is a certified Educational Supervisor and is actively involved in the regular training, education and research of postgraduate doctors (GP trainees, Internal Medicine Trainees and Specialty Trainees) during their rheumatology placements. Additionally, Dr Akram provides ultrasound teaching and mentorship for Specialty Trainees during their rotation at Stockport ensuring that the next generation of rheumatologists are able to use ultrasound in their daily practice.  He also provides rheumatology and general medicine teaching for undergraduates at the University of Manchester Medical School.

Dr Akram prides himself on his pleasant, caring, down to earth and approachable manner allowing him to establish a positive rapport with his patients. He provides easy to understand information about complex rheumatic and general medical conditions leaving patients satisfied. Dr Akram believes good communication is the key between the patient and physician to maximise a positive outcome to the consultation and in tailoring suitable treatments to individual patients. He has excellent relationships with orthopaedic surgeons and musculo-skeletal radiologists to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients with rheumatic disease and other members of the MDT including specialist nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and podiatrists.

Interventions offered (alongside consultation)

-Diagnostic musculo-skeletal ultrasound (any swollen or painful joint)

Interventional musculo-skeletal ultrasound:

  • Joint aspirations (for synovial fluid analysis and confirmation of diagnosis) (all joints including fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and ankles)
  • Joint injections (all joints including fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and ankles)
  • Soft tissue and tendon injections (frozen shoulder, rotator cuff syndrome, tennis elbow, golfers’ elbow, trochanteric bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, flexor/extensor tenosynovitis, tendinopathy