Virtual Surgery in Congenital Heart Disease
Teaching, diagnosing, and planning of therapy in patients with complex structural cardiovascular heart disease require profound understanding of the three-dimensional (3D) nature of cardiovascular structures in these patients. To obtain such understanding, modern imaging modalities provide high-resolution two-dimensional (2D), three-dimensional (3D), and sometimes even time-resolved 3D imaging of the cardiovascular anatomy of the chest. When 3D structures need to be understood based on 2D images, a 3D model is a very helpful tool to visualize and to understand the often complex 3D structures. In combination with the availability of virtual models of congenital heart disease (CHD), techniques for computer-based simulation of cardiac interventions have enabled early clinical exploration of the emerging concept of virtual surgery. This chapter serves as an introduction to virtual surgery for patient-specific preoperative planning and teaching of cardiovascular anatomy and interventions for clinicians. The chapter is mainly based on the discussion of a few examples. An overview of the underlying imaging and data-processing techniques is provided.
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