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Dr Helena Gardiner

Honorary consultant

Senior lecturer and director of perinatal cardiology,
Imperial College London


Clinical expertise and research interests

Dr Helena Gardiner specialises in the care of unborn babies with congenital heart disease (CHD) and in the smooth transition from care during pregnancy to perinatal care and cardiac surgery.


She provides ultrasound diagnosis for unborn children thought to have CHD, and support and counselling for their mothers through pregnancy and birth.


Dr Gardiner's research focuses on improved antenatal detection and treatment of fetal heart disease. Her involvement in training in sonography and the development of novel non-invasive technologies to improve the monitoring of foetuses, has resulted in the improved detection of fetal heart defects. This in turn has improved survival rates and helped families prepare for and cope with a child with CHD.

Consultancy posts

  • 2007 to present: consultant to the Cardio & Vascular Coalition working with the British Heart Foundation to develop services for cardiovascular disease, 2010-2020

  • 2005: NICE consultant for the Interventional Procedures Programme

  • 2003 to present: Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology consultant on fetal echocardiography on the antenatal screening programme guidelines

International background

Dr Gardiner held the 1996 visiting scientist fellowship of the Swedish Medical Research Council, University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden. 


She has been an invited speaker, chairperson, abstract reviewer and organiser for many international meetings, including the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, World congress on the Fetal Origins of Adult Disease, the European Society of Cardiology, the second Asia-Pacific Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society.


Dr Gardiner is the secretary of the Fetal Working Group of the Association for European Paediatric Cardiology and direcotor of the fetal component for Fetal Doppler Ultrasound, Austria.


She regularly lectures outside the UK and has been invited to speak at grand rounds and to teach in workshops and courses in China, Korea, Japan, the US, across Europe and in Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

Charity work

Dr Gardiner established the national charity Tiny Tickers in 1998 to improve detection of fetal CHD. The charity provides hands-on training in obstetric hospitals across the UK and produces educational and support materials for more than 30 maternity hospitals. 


Dr Gardiner is a regular reviewer for several leading medical journals including: New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Hypertension, American Journal of Cardiology, Heart, Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Early Human Development.


She is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Cardiology, Early Human Development and Ultrasound in Obstetric and Gynaecology.


She has contributed chapters to numerous books, including:

  • Gardiner HM.  “Physiology of the developing human fetal heart”. Chapter 22 in Paediatric Cardiology, 3rd Edition Anderson, Baker, Penny, Redington, Rigby, and Wernovsky Eds. (Elsevier Publishing, London 2007) (in press)

  • Gardiner HM. “Diagnosis and Management of Fetal Malformations: The Heart” Chapter 28 in Fetal Medicine: Basic Science and Clinical Practice 2nd Edition.  Rodeck C and Whittle M Eds (Elsevier Publishing, London 2007) (in press)

  • Gardiner HM. “In-utero Intervention for Severe Congenital Heart Disease” Chapter 4:  in Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Arulkumaran S Ed in Chief. (Elsevier Publishing, London 2007) (in press)

  • Gardiner HM. “Fetal Cardiology” chapter 30 in Paediatric Heart Disease: A Practical Guide,  P. Daubeney, S. Webber, K. Niwa and M. Gatzoulis Eds (Blackwell Publishing, London) 2007 (in press)