Children's Hospital of Michigan.
3D printed heart model.
Last month TCT reported on a story about conjoined twins who were separated with the help of a 3D printed heart model used to guide a team of more than 50 medical specialists through a successful 26 hour operation.
Now a teenager is Michigan has benefited from the same technology by becoming the first person in the state to be treated with the help of a revolutionary 3D printed heart model.
17 year old Ariana Smith was treated at the Children's Hospital of Michigan, a part of the Detroit Medical Centre (DMC) for a very large, complex aortic aneurysm. Following an electrocardiogram test in November, it was discovered that Ariana had a huge aortic aneurysm complicated with a tortuous aorta that has a distorted shape or path, a potential life threatening condition.
"Ariana's condition was extensively discussed with our paediatric cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists in order to provide the best treatment and outcome. Surgical therapy was a high-risk operation for her age and anatomy which could lead to possible complications with her aorta," says Daisuke Kobayashi, M.D., a cardiologist on staff at the Children's Hospital of Michigan, who managed her treatment and care.
Heart specialists at the Children's Hospital of Michigan began by exploring the possibility of treating Ariana using covered stents to expand the artery and block the aneurysm to prevent it from rupturing. Children's Hospital of Michigan is one of only a few hospitals in the country participating in a research study called the COAST II trial (COarctation of the Aorta Stent Trial). Sponsored by the NuMED company, this U.S. FDA approved study uses stents covered with a special lining for the treatment of aortic narrowing and aneurysms. However, this very delicate procedure can cause major complications if not performed well.
As a result a team of cardiologists including Daisuke Kobayashi, M.D., Richard Humes, M.D., Thomas Forbes, M.D. and Daniel Turner, M.D. looked to 3D printing to treat Ariana’s condition.
The model was developed at a local Materialise base, pioneers of additive manufacturing in the healthcare sector, in Plymouth, Michigan. Through their Mimics Innovation Suite software and HeartPrint services, Materialise was able to transform a CT scan of Ariana's heart into a 3D printed, life-like replica of her aorta enabling the cardiology team to precisely plan treatment and practice the intervention prior to the procedure.
"At Materialise, we strive to create a better and healthier world and are proud that our software and services were able to help the great team at the Children's Hospital of Michigan to make a positive impact on Ariana's life," said Todd Pietila, Cardiovascular Business Development Manager at Materialise. "It was a tremendous honour to support this case and we look forward to continued collaborations."
In this case the 3D printed model was important for more than just diagnosing and visualizing the problem. The team performed a practice run of the procedure to see how the stent responded to Aliana’s specific anatomy. By planning the operation and using the model as a guide, Ariana was able to be out of the hospital after just one night.
"We anticipate that Ariana will not require surgery to treat this condition. Dr. Kobayashi will follow her closely in the office. Most importantly, this experience will allow us to treat future patients more safely with the use of 3D printing technology. This is only the beginning," Dr. Turner says.