Risky Transcatheter Mitral Valves can be Implanted using 3D Printing

Risky Transcatheter Mitral Valves can be Implanted using 3D Printing

Physicians of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit use 3D printing and computer simulations to aid install replacement mitral valves without resorting open surgery.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantations are routinely practiced at a number of hospitals around the world. Around 60% of patients over 75 have mitral valve disease. The Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Hospital is headed by Dr. William O’Neill announced on December 8, 2017, that they have compiled the tools and devices necessary to pre-plan transcatheter mitral valve replacements (TMVR) using Materialise, which is a 3D printing company based in Plymouth, Michigan.

The new technique constantly convert CT scans of hearts into computer simulations and 3D printed hearts that can be examined and manipulated to see which valves to implant and where to position them. The company has developed software that cleans up a lot of the noise and anatomical fragments and then clinicians with the help of Materialise’s specialists do some manual computer work to define the final model. These models are printed at the hospital and can be examined for different valves.

According to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, The transcatheter aortic valves are made from natural tissues of either a pig or a cow. This natural tissue are re-engineered and reprocessed by attaching the valve to a flexible and expandable mesh frame. Once the new valve is implanted, the catheter is removed and the valve starts functioning normally.

Dr. Wang explained that about 20% of TMVR procedures using conventional imaging and sizing result in left ventricle outflow tract (LVOT) obstructions, which are also difficult to reverse and require open heart surgery. During open mitral valve procedures surgeons stick models of valves into the anatomy to observe the good fit but this is impossible in a minimally invasive procedure. High quality 3D prints make it easy to understand the anatomy and unique challenges of positioning a valve in a difficult spot without it protruding too much into the left ventricle outflow tract.

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