Julie Maes September 26, 2016

At the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Centre of Utrecht, a four-year old patient with a large heart tumor came to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Blank for help. Due to the tumor, the boy suffered from heart rhythm problems, and it was quickly apparent to Dr. Blank that the only way to relieve these problems was to remove the tumor. The problem was its location. Situated near the mitral valve and the coronary arteries, the tumor would be extremely challenging to remove without damaging those delicate areas. Dr. Blank reached out to Prof. Hraska, a cardiac surgeon from the Sankt-Augustin hospital in Germany with substantial experience in removing similar tumors.

Disclaimer: 3D-printed anatomical models for diagnostic use created with MIS/Mimics are not commercially available in the US, Australia and Canada.

Challenging Heart Tumor

On the left: the 3D Printed model of the tumor, on the right: the actual heart tumor after removal.

To assess the possibility of operating on the tumor, the international and multidisciplinary team reached out to Materialise to create a 3D-printed model of the heart. Both centers had worked with 3D Printing before and knew how powerful it felt to hold a patient’s heart in your hand prior to the procedure. The digital 3D file allowed the different teams throughout Europe to simultaneously discuss and visualize the size of the tumor, as well as observe its physical relationship with the mitral valve and coronary arteries. Based on the clear information they received from the digital model, the medical teams decided that the surgery would be feasible.

The 3D-printed model was then used to help plan the surgery. Dr. Hraska was able to operate the patient successfully and remove the tumor, giving a little boy the chance for a healthier, event-free life.

Professor Dr. Viktor Hraska, longtime chief physician of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the German Children's Heart Center, Asklepios Klinik Sankt Augustin has had very good experiences with the Materialise Mimics Care Suite:

"The 3D visualization significantly facilitates the planning of particularly complex cases. Especially in small structures such as a child's heart, it is very important for the surgical outcome to have the most accurate view of the anatomy as possible, based on which we can examine the feasibility, inform our surgical team and simulate the intervention in advance. The 3D models also help us a lot in educating parents.”

We would like to congratulate Dr. Blank and Dr. Hraska on this amazing case, and we wish their young patient every success!

Dr Hrsaska will present this case at the EACTS conference in Barcelona, 1-5 October 2016.

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