Bartel T, Rivard A, Jimenez A, Mestres CA, Müller S. Medical three-dimensional printing opens up new opportunities in cardiology and cardiac surgery. European Heart Journal. 2018, 14;39(15):1246-1254


Advanced percutaneous and surgical procedures in structural and congenital heart disease require precise pre-procedural planning and continuous quality control. Although current imaging modalities and post-processing software assists with peri-procedural guidance, their capabilities for spatial conceptualization remain limited in two- and three-dimensional representations. In contrast, 3D printing offers not only improved visualization for procedural planning, but provides substantial information on the accuracy of surgical reconstruction and device implantations. Peri-procedural 3D printing has the potential to set standards of quality assurance and individualized healthcare in cardiovascular medicine and surgery. Nowadays, a variety of clinical applications are available showing how accurate 3D computer reformatting and physical 3D printouts of native anatomy, embedded pathology, and implants are and how they may assist in the development of innovative therapies. Accurate imaging of pathology including target region for intervention, its anatomic features and spatial relation to the surrounding structures is critical for selecting optimal approach and evaluation of procedural results. This review describes clinical applications of 3D printing, outlines current limitations, and highlights future implications for quality control, advanced medical education and training.

Link to journal: