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New fetal cardiology unit is detecting heart defects in babies earlier in pregnancy

Heart abnormalities can now be diagnosed in babies at an earlier stage of pregnancy thanks to high resolution scanners in the new fetal cardiology unit at Evelina London.

Fetal cardiology is the study of a baby’s heart in the womb, new scanners at Evelina London mean that heart defects can be detected as early as 12 weeks into a pregnancy, instead of at the 20-week scan.

Three new SMI (Superb Microvascular Imaging) Toshiba i800 ultrasound systems are providing higher quality and more detailed images than ever before. The state-of-the-art scanners give experts a clear view of an unborn baby’s heart and blood vessels and detect the movement of blood within the heart.

John Simpson, professor of paediatric and fetal cardiology at Evelina London, said: “Confirmation that nothing is wrong is hugely reassuring for parents with a high-risk pregnancy and the new ultrasound scanning technology is a game changer for babies diagnosed with heart defects. Earlier diagnosis gives us much more time to plan care, to prepare parents for what is ahead and provide them with specialist support.”

Read the full story at Evelina London Children’s Hospital