3D MODELLING AND RAPID PROTOTYPING FOR CARDIOVASCULAR SURGICAL PLANNING – TWO CASE STUDIES
Keywords: Rapid prototyping, 3D modelling, 3D printing, Rapid prototyping, Medical imagery, DICOM, Heart, Cardiovascular diseases, Surgical planning
Abstract. In the last years, cardiovascular diagnosis, surgical planning and intervention have taken advantages from 3D modelling and rapid prototyping techniques. The starting data for the whole process is represented by medical imagery, in particular, but not exclusively, computed tomography (CT) or multi-slice CT (MCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the medical imagery, regions of interest, i.e. heart chambers, valves, aorta, coronary vessels, etc., are segmented and converted into 3D models, which can be finally converted in physical replicas through 3D printing procedure. In this work, an overview on modern approaches for automatic and semiautomatic segmentation of medical imagery for 3D surface model generation is provided. The issue of accuracy check of surface models is also addressed, together with the critical aspects of converting digital models into physical replicas through 3D printing techniques. A patient-specific 3D modelling and printing procedure (Figure 1), for surgical planning in case of complex heart diseases was developed. The procedure was applied to two case studies, for which MCT scans of the chest are available. In the article, a detailed description on the implemented patient-specific modelling procedure is provided, along with a general discussion on the potentiality and future developments of personalized 3D modelling and printing for surgical planning and surgeons practice.