Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 8th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

20 June 2016

Breathe to the Beat

Being at the cutting edge of science is less glamorous than it sounds. Here you can see me taking part in a study to use a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to take images of the heart in ‘real time’, while a person exercises and breathes in air that contains less oxygen than normal. It’s one of the first studies in the world to do this. Understanding how the hearts of healthy people like me compensate to handle this stress could help researchers to develop a more accurate way to diagnose heart conditions. Patients with these conditions say they experience their symptoms while walking around. Most diagnostic tools are simply not designed to provide detailed images of the heart whilst the body is in motion. The researchers, at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, are aiming to develop a more accurate technique by fine-tuning MRI scanning in this unusual study.

Find out more about this study

Marking the start of the MRC CSC's 'Hearts and Minds' theme week, part of the MRC's Festival of Medical Research

Written by Deborah Oakley

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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