Implanting prosthetic heart valves is a challenge requiring careful matching of the implanted device to the patient anatomy, as well as placing the implant so that there are no leaks, hemodynamic occlusions, nor a configuration that promotes clot formation. While this is relatively manageable when performing open heart valve replacements, using transcatheter valves is a lot harder because the anatomy being worked on is difficult to examine. Typically, only CT scans are available that provide a reasonable look at the morphology. But, CT scans are not nearly as intuitive to analyze as real objects hence clinicians have do to a lot of guesstimating, often resulting in imperfect implantations.
Medgadget recently covered how the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit uses 3D printing to prepare for transcatheter mitral valve repairs, but now we learn of work at Ohio State University that involves 3D printing model aortas and testing them in a special simulator that replicates hemodynamic parameters such as flow, pressure, and turbulence that blood experiences when it exits the left ventricular outflow.
The technique helps to address complicated cases and allows doctors to decide which valves to use and where to position them based on CT scans of individual patients.
Here’s a video from Ohio State showing off the new approach:
Via: Ohio State…