Multimodality integrated imaging for foetal intervention

Our proposal is centred in Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a condition that occurs in monochorionic twins where both fetuses are connected to one single placenta. In around one third of cases, a blood flow imbalance will develop that result in the death of both the twins in more than 90% of cases. When TTTS is established, the only option is to separate blood circulation of both fetuses by coagulation the blood vessels connections with a laser. In this context, the surgeon is under a great cognitive stress. Our aim is to give him a “superpower” sight sense that overcomes most of the limitations of the current clinical setting and enables him to deliver better care. 

We propose to: (1) integrate multimodal medical imaging techniques such as MRI, US and endoscopic video feed to present the surgeon with an integrated view of the operating field inside the womb, (2) build a 3D map of the target vessels from endoscopic view and their real-time localisation with respect to the anatomy of the mother and the current position of the surgical instruments (3) present this information in a mixed reality solution and (4) test that the proposed solution has the capability to reduce the cognitive load of the surgeon and speed up the intervention.

This will be a great breakthrough that will change forever the way fetal surgeries are performed and will positively impact life conditions for these patients.

Principal researchers

Mario Ceresa