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February 19, 2021 Friday 05:35:25 PM IST

Scientists make 3D heart scan breakthrough for animals and humans

Science Innovations

The University of Manchester scientists have created the most detailed ever 3D scan of a rare form of congenital heart disease. The ‘walk through’ 3D video for the first time allows a precise anatomical classification of the disease and has important implications on future treatment for many of the heart defects humans- and animals - are born with.

The study started by chance when a Japanese veterinary researcher at Ritsumeikan University contacted the team at Manchester. When the pet cat Dr Shu Nakao had been treating called Mi-ke sadly died, Dr Nakao had not been able to make an accurate diagnosis post mortem and decided to ask for the Manchester team’s help.

According to Dr Nakao, vets in Japan and beyond are not able to detect and report this type of congenital heart diseases in domestic animals.

Using cutting edge technology which carries out Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro CT) – one of only 2 places in the UK where it is done- the team were able diagnose a rare but distressing condition called common arterial trunk.

Micro CT can create an intricately detailed scan of the heart at a resolution of 40 microns - a quarter the width of a human hair.

Treated with heart surgery, it is found in humans and domestic animals such as cats and dogs.

Less than 1 in 10,000 babies are born with common arterial trunk– which causes acute breathlessness over the first month or so after birth; around 95 out of every 100 babies who have surgical repair will survive.

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