Scientists have integrated computed tomography (CT) and 3D transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) imaging to create the first hybrid anatomical model of a patient’s heart.
The modeling technique, which requires special software to crunch and combine the data from the image sources, may soon allow cardiologists to better diagnose congenital heart conditions and help surgeons decide the best course of action when operating on a patient’s heart.
“This is a huge leap for individualised 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 new method is unique because it combines multiple image sources for a more accurate model, making sure the important anatomical details are not left out.
“Hybrid 3D printing integrates the best aspects of two or more imaging modalities,” Jordan Gosnell, cardiac sonographer and lead author of the study, explained.
While still in the experimental stages for now, one day soon the scientists hope their anatomically accurate 3D printed hearts can help cardiologists save more lives.
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