Current Pediatrics Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 28–34 | Cite as

Novel Uses for Three-Dimensional Printing in Congenital Heart Disease

  • Tom Loke
  • Axel Krieger
  • Craig Sable
  • Laura Olivieri
Cardiology (W Lai and W Zuckerman, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Cardiology


Congenital heart disease affects 1–2 % of the world’s population and is the leading cause of mortality among infants in the US. The diagnosis and management of congenital heart disease are largely driven by review of two-dimensional (2D) images derived from echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance, and cardiac computed tomography. However, congenital heart disease is a three-dimensional (3D) problem, and 2D display methods often lack critical spatial information. Cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons rely on mental conversion of 2D data into a 3D understanding of the spatial relationships of intracardiac structures. Over the last 10 years, significant advances in 3D printing technology have made it possible to create life-like, printed models of any part of the human anatomy, including congenital heart defects. These printed models, placed in an operator’s hands, have the potential to assist in communication of the size, location, and degree of defect and aid in procedural planning. The use of 3D models has the potential to decrease operative procedure times, decrease radiation exposure in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and overall sedation and anesthetic requirement. In addition, they have considerable educational value wherein defects can be examined from every angle, and the complex 3D relationships of cardiac structures can be displayed in three dimensions and held in the hand.


Congenital heart disease 3D printing Cardiac surgery Cardiac imaging 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Loke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Axel Krieger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Craig Sable
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura Olivieri
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyChildren’s National Health SystemWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Surgical InnovationChildren’s National Health SystemWashingtonUSA

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