Patient-Specific 3D-Printed Models in Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease
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Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has become increasingly used in the medical field, with reports demonstrating its superior advantages in both educational and clinical value when compared with standard image visualizations or current diagnostic approaches. Patient-specific or personalized 3D printed models serve as a valuable tool in cardiovascular disease because of the difficulty associated with comprehending cardiovascular anatomy and pathology on 2D flat screens. Additionally, the added value of using 3D-printed models is especially apparent in congenital heart disease (CHD), due to its wide spectrum of anomalies and its complexity. This review provides an overview of 3D-printed models in pediatric CHD, with a focus on educational value for medical students or graduates, clinical applications such as pre-operative planning and simulation of congenital heart surgical procedures, and communication between physicians and patients/parents of patients and between colleagues in the diagnosis and treatment of CHD. Limitations and perspectives on future research directions for the application of 3D printing technology into pediatric cardiology practice are highlighted.
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