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Never-before-seen images of unborn baby's heart

16 Apr 2019

Incredible computer technology developed by experts at King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust has made it possible to create never before seen 3D images of an unborn baby's heart. This development, part of the iFind project, could aid the detection and treatment of unborn babies who have congenital heart disease.

John Simpson, who is a professor of paediatric and fetal cardiology at Evelina London, has said: "Three dimensional MRI revolutionise the type of information we can obtain before babies are born. This impacts directly on care we provide after birth and provides new insights into structural heart defects before birth." (As quoted by Evelina)

Dr David Lloyd, clinical research fellow at King’s College London said: “Our hope is this approach will now become standard practice for the Evelina fetal cardiology team who make a prenatal diagnosis in 400 babies each year. This will also improve the care of over 150 babies each year who deliver at St Thomas Hospital with known congenital heart disease.” (As quoted by the BBC)

Pro-life organisations such as SPUC hope that this amazing new technology will be used to treat and care for babies with congenital heart disease, and not used as a way of screening them out. According to a recent study carried out in Denmark, abortion rates for unborn babies with major congenital heart disease went up from 0.6% in 1996 to 39.1% in 2013 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30027209).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47638608
https://www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk/about-us/news-events/2019-news/20190325-images-before-birth.aspx
http://www.spuc.org.uk/amazing-researchers-create-groundbreaking-images-of-baby-hearts-inside-the-womb