The 3D printing of model hearts based on anatomical patient scans can provide surgeons with an intuitive way of studying and planning for an operation. Recently these models have been created using CT scans that can capture the structure of the heart within one beat, but now a team from Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan have combined data from CT and 3D transesophageal echocardiography (3D TEE) taken of one patient’s heart to print a highly accurate model. The capability of fusing data from multiple modalities can fill in gaps and details not well captured by one type of scan.
The clinical researchers partnered with Materialise, makers of Mimics Innovation Suite, to create the virtual models and print them out.
The heart was presented at CSI 2015 – Catheter Interventions in Congenital, Structural and Valvular Heart Diseases Congress in Frankfurt, Germany last week.