Modelling Patient-specific Deformable Mitral Valves
Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
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Medical imaging has advanced enormously over the last few decades, revolutionizing patient diagnostics and care. At the same time, additive manufacturing has emerged as a means of reproducing physical shapes and models previously not possible. In combination, they have given rise to 3D modelling, an entirely new technology for physicians. In an era when 3D imaging has become a standard for diagnosing and treating cardiac disease, we can now take this visualization further by bringing the patient's anatomy into physical reality as a model. We describe the generalized process of creating a model of cardiac anatomy from patient images, along with our own experience creating patient-specific dynamic mitral valve models. This involves a combination of image processing software, as well as 3D printing technology. In this paper, we distill the complexity of 3D modelling and summarize this decision-making process for cardiac anesthesiologists. The management of cardiac disease has been altered with the emergence of 3D echocardiography, and 3D modelling represents the next paradigm shift.