King's College London - New way to the heart

January 21, 2010

An MRI scan has been successfully used in place of X-ray imaging in an operation to widen a heart valve. The technique involves using a new fibreglass guide wire to direct a catheter through a blood vessel to the heart, as the metal wire previously used would move and heat up in an MRI's magnetic field. It was developed by an international team including clinicians from King's Health Partners, based at King's College London, and was used to operate on Jack Walborn, aged six, from Lincolnshire. An MRI scan offers a clearer image and does not expose the patient to radiation as an X-ray would.

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