Technology has come a long way in recent years, especially when it comes to the ability to see inside the womb.
Dr. Marisa Taylor-Clarke has been using new cinematic MRI technology at Imperial College London’s Robert Steiner MR Unit to study the development of twins in much greater detail than ultrasound is capable of. Specifically, she has been looking for signs and symptoms of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a rare condition where twins share the same placenta.
The risk of harm to one or both twins is extremely high with TTTS, and Dr. Taylor-Clarke hopes that the MRI technology will not only help diagnose the condition sooner, but also provide insights into how to help twins who are developing with it.
“A lot of the so-called videos in the womb are very processed, so they do a lot of reconstructing and computer work afterwards. These are the raw images that are acquired immediately,” Dr. Taylor-Clarke told New Scientist when her cinematic MRI footage first surfaced.
The stunning footage shows two young twins vying for space in their very tight living quarters. See the incredible detail of the scan yourself in the video below.
Although the benefits of cinematic MRI research are extensive, Dr. Taylor-Clarke holds that it should only be used in special circumstances.
“MRI scanning is a very specialized technique, and the vast majority of women have healthy pregnancies without any problems,” she says.