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Texas Fetal Center

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Dr. Helena Gardiner M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Helena Gardiner M.D., Ph.D.Co-Director, Fetal Cardiology Program, Texas Fetal Center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital

Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Department of Pediatric Cardiology, UTHealth Medical School

Helena Gardiner, M.D., Ph.D., is a world-renowned fetal cardiologist who specializes in fetal echocardiography. Her clinical and research interests include fetal vascular programming in monochorionic twins, fetal growth restriction and the use of percutaneous fetal valvuloplasty. Her recent translational research interests include MRI and MRS assessment of the fetal brain and neuro-developmental outcomes in babies with a prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome; novel aspects of imaging the fetal heart early in gestation; and cardiovascular functional assessment later in childhood following fetal surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

Dr. Gardiner graduated from medical school in Wales, United Kingdom, and went on to train in pediatrics and neonatal medicine in the U.K. and the Bahamas. After training and accreditation in pediatric cardiology, she was awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) Visiting Scientist Fellowship at the University of Lund in Sweden, where she studied vascular programming of the fetal circulation. In 2002 she received a Ph.D. from Lund University. Dr. Gardiner is a member of the American Heart Association, the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), secretary of the Fetal Working Group of the Association of European Paediatric Cardiology and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Prior to her affiliation with the Texas Fetal Center and UTHealth Medical School, Dr. Gardiner served as reader and director of perinatal cardiology at Imperial College, London, with honorary contracts at the Royal Brompton Hospital and the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London. In 1999 she founded the Tiny Tickers charity organization in the U.K., in order to improve overall detection, diagnosis and care for babies with congenital heart defects, before birth and in the first year of life. She plans to establish a similar program in Houston and the surrounding communities in order to improve the confidence of sonographers in the detection of congenital heart defects.


  • Fetal echocardiography in congenital heart disease
  • Noninvasive functional fetal cardiovascular assessment, particularly in TTTS
  • Interventional valvuloplasty for fetal aortic and pulmonary stenosis

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