Application of 3D printing in the surgical planning of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and physician-patient communication: a preliminary study

Hong-Chang Guo, Yang Wang, Jiang Dai, Chang-Wei Ren, Jin-Hua Li, Yong-Qiang Lai


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 3-dimensional (3D) printing in treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) and its roles in doctor-patient communication.
Methods: 3D-printed models were constructed preoperatively and postoperatively in seven HOCM patients received surgical treatment. Based on multi-slice computed tomography (CT) images, regions of disorder were segmented using the Mimics 19.0 software (Materialise, Leuven, Belgium). After generating an STL-file (StereoLithography file) with patients’ data, the 3D printer (Objet350 Connex3, Stratasys Ltd., USA) created a 3D model. The pre- and post-operative 3D-printed models were used to make the surgical plan preoperatively and evaluate the outcome postoperatively. Meanwhile, a questionnaire was designed for patients and their relatives to learn the effectiveness of the 3D-printed prototypes in the preoperative conversations.
Results: The heart anatomies were accurately printed with 3D technology. The 3D-printed prototypes were useful for preoperative evaluation, surgical planning, and practice. Preoperative and postoperative echocardiographic evaluation showed left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction was adequately relieved (82.71±31.63 to 14.91±6.89 mmHg, P<0.001), the septal thickness was reduced from 21.57±4.65 to 17.42±5.88 mm (P<0.001), and the SAM disappeared completely after the operation. Patients highly appreciated the role of 3D model in preoperative conversations and the communication score was 9.11±0.38 points.
Conclusions: A 3D-printed model is a useful tool in individualized planning for myectomies and represent a useful tool for physician-patient communication.