Case Studies Anatomical Heart

Enabling a 60-minute reduction in pediatric surgery with a 3D printed anatomical model

Case Study

The Case

A baby girl presented with atrioventricular (AV) and ventriculoarterial (VA) discordance - a complex type of heart lesion that accounts for less than 1% of infants with congenital heart disease - alongside a ventricular septal defect (VSD) with pulmonary stenosis (PS). 2D imaging made it difficult for her surgeon to visualize the full extent of the problem, making it much harder for him to plan with the accuracy needed for a corrective procedure.


A 3D printed model of the baby’s heart was ordered from Axial3D to aid the surgeon's visualization of the problem in greater detail. The surgeon was particularly keen to understand the relationship of great arteries to the VSD, and to gain a clearer understanding of how to best close the VSD to the aorta without compromising the AV valve function or developing a left ventricular outflow obstruction.

“It [The 3D model] is the best resemblance of the heart, which can change in appearance from looking at a CT to looking at the real life heart in theatre. Having a 3D model in advance for planning allows all members of the team to have the one view on the patient's heart.”

Benefits of Using the 3D Model

The comprehensive insights from the 3D model bolstered the surgeon's understanding and instilled confidence in the planned approach, leading to a unified decision with the clinical team before surgery. This eliminated the need to consider multiple options in the operating room. With increased confidence and precise insights, the team efficiently pre-selected necessary equipment, resulting in a significant 60-minute reduction in procedure time. This not only optimized patient safety but also minimized the risk of infection, particularly crucial for a vulnerable young infant.

Disclaimer: Details of Axial3D's regulatory clearance for diagnostic use cases are outlined here. For all other uses of Axial3D solutions, they should be used for demonstration and education purposes only.

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