Three-dimensional ultrasound-derived physical mitral valve modeling

Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Aug;98(2):691-4. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.094.


Purpose: Advances in mitral valve repair and adoption have been partly attributed to improvements in echocardiographic imaging technology. To educate and guide repair surgery further, we have developed a methodology for fast production of physical models of the valve using novel three-dimensional (3D) echocardiographic imaging software in combination with stereolithographic printing.

Description: Quantitative virtual mitral valve shape models were developed from 3D transesophageal echocardiographic images using software based on semiautomated image segmentation and continuous medial representation algorithms. These quantitative virtual shape models were then used as input to a commercially available stereolithographic printer to generate a physical model of the each valve at end systole and end diastole.

Evaluation: Physical models of normal and diseased valves (ischemic mitral regurgitation and myxomatous degeneration) were constructed. There was good correspondence between the virtual shape models and physical models.

Conclusions: It was feasible to create a physical model of mitral valve geometry under normal, ischemic, and myxomatous valve conditions using 3D printing of 3D echocardiographic data. Printed valves have the potential to guide surgical therapy for mitral valve disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional*
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve / anatomy & histology*
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mitral Valve / pathology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / pathology
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Myxoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Myxoma / pathology
  • Printing*