A team at the King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre in London has performed the first operation in the world where a heart valve has been widened using guidance by an MRI scan instead of an X-ray image.

MRI scanning is a technique that provides a clearer image and information about the body’s tissues in real time during surgery without exposing the patient to radiation.

A glass fibre wire with small iron markers was used for cardiac catheterisation, so that there was no disruption of the magnetic field that can occur when an MRI scan is tracking metal guide wires, the BBC reports.