A new MRI technique revealed an incredible sight: Siblings apparently are never too young to fight with each other.
The high-clarity MRI scan shows twins jockeying for position inside the womb.
“A lot of the so-called videos in the womb are very processed, so they do a lot of reconstructing and computer work afterwards,” one researcher said.
“These are the raw images that are acquired immediately,” Dr. Marisa Taylor-Clarke, of the Robert Steiner MR Unit at Imperial College London, told the New Scientist at the time.
The video was captured as researchers were trying to examine a rare medical condition, which is potentially lethal among twins.
“What this lets us do is see their positions in relation to each other and how much space they occupy, and how they might move around and push each other out of the way,” Taylor-Clarke added.
The images were shot via an MRI scan taken at London’s Center for Fetal Care, Reuters reported.
“One of the problems with the imbalances of blood flow is that if you get a sudden shift of blood from one twin to the other, that can cause brain injury,” Dr. Taylor-Clarke had told Reuters. “So it can cause stroke or hemorrhage in one or both of the twins’ brains.”
“MRI can pick up signs of brain injury much earlier and in much greater detail than ultrasound can at the moment.”
The high-tech scan produces more detailed images than a normal MRI scan, and it is used to learn more about twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), where one twin takes blood from a “donor” twin.
This video is a little old but every time I watch it I get goosebumps. Multiples are just amazing. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57556272/video-appears-to-show-twins-fighting-for-space-in-womb/
“She has been using the technique to study twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a relatively common complication in which the blood supplies of twins sharing the same placenta become connected. As the twin receiving its sibling’s blood grows larger, the growth of the donor twin becomes stunted. In the worst cases it can prove fatal to both twins. Fortunately, an operation that involves blocking the shared blood vessels usually saves them, but its impact on brain development is relatively unknown,” the New Scientist reported.
In some cases, TTTS can cause death. In less severe cases, a twin who loses too much blood may experience stunted growth.
Taylor-Clarke said she monitored 24 sets of twins with TTTS.
“We may pick up conditions that we couldn’t interpret, which may be very stressful for women,” she added, News.com.au reported.
World’s Smallest Baby Survives
A baby who weighed just 9.45 ounces at birth has finally gone home, making him the smallest surviving baby boy in the world.
The baby, who hasn’t been named in reports, was delivered through Caesarean-section last August after he failed to gain weight during the pregnancy and doctors feared his life was in danger after his 24-week scan.
According to Keio University hospital, he was in intensive care until he reached 7 pounds, and he was sent home on Feb. 20.
“I am grateful that he has grown this big because, honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive,” the boy’s mother told Reuters.
The Japanese baby beat the previous record holder by just 0.21 ounces, according to the Tiniest Babies registry on the University of Iowa website.
That baby, born in Germany in 2009 weighing 9.66 ounces had held the record for 9 years.
But the Japanese boy isn’t the smallest baby to survive—that title belongs to a German baby girl, born in 2015.
Doctor Takeshi Arimitsu, who treated the extraordinary baby, told the BBC he wanted to show that “there is a possibility that babies will be able to leave the hospital in good health, even though they are born small.”