Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

First 3D MRI scans of unborn babies

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A new technique to get the first 3D images of unborn babies from MR (magnetic resonance) scans has been developed by Imperial College Healthcare.

A team led by Prof Mary Rutherford, a neonatal neuroradiologist at Hammersmith Hospital, is using the images to find out how foetus' brains develop in the womb.

This has been difficult to study before as unborn babies wiggle in the mother's tummy. MR scans require a person to be still as ordered slices are taken continuously through the body.

To solve this problem the team takes many many images, in various orientations, and uses a computer program to re-order them and form a 3D image.

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