Cotin S, Dawson S, Meglan D, Shaffer D, Ferrell M, Bardsley R, Morgan F, Nagano T, Nikom J, Sherman P, Walterman M, Wendlandt J. ICTS, an Interventional Cardiology Training System. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2000;70:59-65

PMID: 10977584


In this article, we present an Interventional Cardiology Training System developed by the Medical Application Group at Mitsubishi Electric in collaboration with the Center for Innovative Minimally Invasive Therapy. The core of the ICTS is a computer simulation of interventional cardiology catheterization. This simulation integrates clinical expertise, research in learning, and technical innovations to create a realistic simulated environment. The goal of this training system is to augment the training of new cardiology fellows as well as to introduce cardiologists to new devices and procedures. To achieve this goal, both the technical components and the educational content of the ICTS bring new and unique features: a simulated fluoroscope, a physics model of a catheter, a haptic interface, a fluid flow simulation combined with a hemodynamic model and a learning system integrated in a user interface. The simulator is currently able to generate - in real-time - high quality x-ray images from a 31) anatomical model of the thorax, including a beating heart and animated lungs. The heart and lung motion is controlled by the hemodynamic model, which also computes blood pressure and EKG. The blood flow is then calculated according to the blood pressure and blood vessel characteristics. Any vascular tool, such as a catheter, guide wire or angioplasty balloon can be represented and accurately deformed by the flexible tool physics model. The haptics device controls the tool and provides appropriate feedback when contact with a vessel wall is detected. When the catheter is in place, a contrast agent can be injected into the coronary arteries; blood and contrast mixing is computed and a visual representation of the angiogram is displayed by the x-ray renderer. By bringing key advances in the area of medical simulation - with the real-time x-ray renderer for instance - and by integrating in a single system both high quality simulation and learning tools, the ICTS opens new perspectives for computer based training systems.