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German researchers capture first birth on MRI

posted 10 Dec 2010, 10:49 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 10 Dec 2010, 10:51 ]

Doctors in Germany have captured a live birth by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the first time, offering potentially unknown insight into what causes Caesarean delivery, Berlin's Charite hospital says.

BERLIN, GERMANY (DECEMBER 10, 2010) REUTERS - Berlin's Charite hospital Doctors in Germany on Friday (December 10) said they had captured a live birth by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the first time, offering potentially unknown insight into what causes Caesarean delivery.

"We were for the first time able to demonstrate the dynamic birth process from inside the woman and how

the baby comes out of the birth canal," radiologist and department head Ulf Teichgraeber told Reuters Television.

According to project director Felix Guettler, "since the 1950s there are no new images from the birth process. For the first time, we now have the possibility to show live birth images from the inside of the patient."

A stalled birth often results in a Caesarean delivery, which requires major abdominal surgery for the mother and carries risks to both mother and infant. One in three births in Germany

are delivered by Caesarean, according to government statistics.

"Our aim, our goal is to prevent these secondary Caesarean sections because these secondary Caesarean sections in the second stage of labour have a high mortality rate and if we can lower these Caesarean section rates, that would be good," said Dr. Christian Bamberg, a physician on the research team,

The MRI images allow the team of researchers to observe the first stage of labour in three-dimensions, showing detailed visuals where previous scans were either too poor of quality or

were too dangerous for the mother and foetus, Bamberg said.

The scan also allowed researchers to observe the foetus' heart sounds during birth.

Doctors stopped the scan once the head of the foetus was exposed to limit noise exposure for the newborn. There was no harmful radiation from the scan for the mother or child, according to Bamberg.

The birth took place on Nov. 20 and the scan lasted for one hour, Charite officials said.

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