New ultrasound technique could detect heart defect in babies

31 March 2011

Scientists working in Norway have developed a new type of ultrasound technology which can help to more effectively detect defects in the hearts of unborn babies.

Blood flow imaging has been in use for some time in other fields, but the scientists at the Medical Imaging Laboratory have adapted it for use in ultrasound.

The technology provides two-dimensional blood flow information by projecting a visualisation onto an image of the heart.

It means that doctors can measure blood flow and detect if a person's heart is working as it should.

Siri-Ann Nymes, consultant at the paediatric department of St Olav's hospital, said: "Making the correct diagnosis is the greatest challenge facing paediatric cardiologists. The organs are so small, and current ultrasound imaging can only provide limited information."

She added that this method was being improved with every patient.

Around one in every 150 babies born in the UK has a heart defect, according to the British Heart Foundation.

 

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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