Today we read stories all the time about the insights that clinicians can gain from 3D-printed heart models, and the way they contribute to a successful treatment outcome and improved patient care. In this blog post we wanted to take a look at the early days of cardiac 3D Printing, and one of the first applications where the technology proved its value.
Patients suffering from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) can benefit from the insights a 3D-printed model is able to provide their clinicians. Tangible models help the medical team to visualize and understand the complex anatomy of the patient’s heart. A first step in the process of creating a patient-specific model is segmenting the medical images. Dr. Nicholas Byrne et al. from Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in the UK examined the range of several cardiovascular segmentation processes and how much time each of these methods takes. The findings of this first systematic review are published in the JRSM Cardiovascular Disease journal.
Every year the experts in transcatheter heart valves therapies come together in London to share the latest developments in the field at the London Valves conference. This year’s edition showed more novelties and had more attendees than ever before. Our team was happy to meet all the stakeholders from industry and physicians that are using Materialise Mimics today in their research of new technologies and planning of novel cases. We look back at the highlights and the lessons learned.
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.
It is a sad day indeed when the happy tidings of a newborn baby are followed by the diagnosis of a serious congenital heart disease. Stephanie Starks had to face this situation 2,5 years ago after giving birth to her third daughter, Jemma. Although the disease was not recognized at first, little Jemma underwent two open-heart surgeries in the following 10 days and started treatment which she would need to continue for the rest of her life. Less than three years later, Jemma is now preparing for her fourth serious surgery.
The Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan has long been a pioneer in the use of 3D Printing and 3D visualization to help their patients. One such application of the technology has been with their innovations in Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR).
Two-year old British Mina Khan was born with a complex hole between her ventricles (VSD). This life-threatening congenital defect exhausted her. Pumping blood around the hole took up all her energy, leaving her breathless, unable to eat or put on weight — even her hair wouldn’t grow. Doctors feared the hole was too big to repair, especially in the tiny, delicate heart of a toddler. Even for experienced pediatric surgeons, this would be a very risky operation.
In an effort to eliminate the risks for patients related to cardiovascular procedures, researchers from Duke University in North Carolina have joined the accuracy of 3D Printing technology with the power of a supercomputer. They created and tested a high-quality and realistic simulation of the human body’s blood flow.
The PCR Valve Atlas is a visual atlas covering all aspects of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). The application, an initiative of PCR, the main reference source for the cardiovascular community, targets intermediate level interventionists and surgeons as well as medical professionals planning to start a TAVI program.
3-year-old Ivy was born with a complex congenital heart disease (CHD), and diagnosed with absent pulmonary valve syndrome and Tetralogy of Fallot. When she was 6 months old, the girl underwent an operation to repair these conditions, which were causing her pulmonary arteries to dilate out of proportion and compressing her airways. The surgeon at the time carried out the LeCompte Maneuver during the repair, which involves the re-plumbing of the pulmonary arteries anterior to the aorta to relieve pressure on the patient’s lungs. A conduit was positioned between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries.