“While still in her mother's belly, Violet-Vienna developed some life-threatening abnormalities.”

Pictures of a fetus moving inside the womb allow better diagnosis of heart diseases

Nota asociada a categoría: Sector News

Press Expo Hospital 2019

Violet-Vienna developed life-threatening abnormalities in the blood vessels around her heart while she was still inside her mother. Problems were first detected when Kirbi-Lea Pettitt went for a routine ultrasound scan 20 weeks into her pregnancy. But when it is suspected that a fetus may have heart problems, the details of the disease cannot always be identified. This is due to the technical problems of taking clear pictures of a tiny heart that moves quickly. Kirbi-Lea took part inthe study to look at her baby’s heart in vivid detail and, therefore, improve the diagnosis of congenital heart diseases. Through this method, developed by King’s College London and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a series of 2D pictures of the heart are taken from different angles using an MRI machine. But the fetal heart is tiny, beats incredibly quickly, and the baby moves around inside the womb so the images of the heart look like a fuzzy blur. But then comes the really clever bit. Sophisticated computer software pieces the images together, adjusts for the beating of the heart and then builds an unprecedented 3D image of the heart. It gives doctors a clear view of the abnormality. In the case of Violet-Vienna, the pictures showed a narrowing of the main artery coming from the heart – the aorta – which would block the blood vessel after birth. Her daughter also had two holes in her heart.

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