Two common imaging techniques, computed tomography (CT) and 3D transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) have been integrated to produce the first 3D anatomic model of a patient's heart.
"This is a huge leap for individualized medicine in cardiology and congenital heart disease. The technology could be beneficial to cardiologists and surgeons," said Dr. Joseph Vettukattil from Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Michigan.
The team used specialized software, which creates more detailed and anatomically accurate 3D renderings and printed models.
The model will promote better diagnostic capability and improved interventional and surgical planning, which will help determine whether a condition can be treated via transcatheter route or if it requires surgery.
"Hybrid 3D printing integrates the best aspects of two or more imaging modalities," said Jordan Gosnell, cardiac sonographer and lead author of the study. The study also opens the way for these techniques to be used in combination with a third tool magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).