Scientists have created 3D images of a baby's heart while still inside the womb – a development that could revolutionise the treatment of congenital disease before birth.
Regular MRI scans of pregnant women were put through a powerful computer program developed by experts at King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust.
This then transformed the standard images – which are often unclear due to the baby's movement and the speed its heart beats – into clear three-dimensional images.
These images then provide doctors with a clear view of any abnormality.
Professor Reza Razavi, consultant paediatric cardiologist, said: "Application of this novel computing technology has enabled for the first time MRI scanning to really help with clarifying the diagnosis in a subgroup of babies, particularly when the vessels around the heart are involved."
John Simpson, professor of paediatric and fetal cardiology, added: "Three dimensional MRI revolutionise the type of information we can obtain before babies are born.