Digital Design and 3D Printing of Aortic Arch Reconstruction in HLHS for Surgical Simulation and Training

World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2018 Jul;9(4):454-458. doi: 10.1177/2150135118771323.


Purpose: Patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) present a diverse spectrum of aortic arch morphology. Suboptimal geometry of the reconstructed aortic arch may result from inappropriate size and shape of an implanted patch and may be associated with poor outcomes. Meanwhile, advances in diagnostic imaging, computer-aided design, and three-dimensional (3D) printing technology have enabled the creation of 3D models. The purpose of this study is to create a surgical simulation and training model for aortic arch reconstruction.

Description: Specialized segmentation software was used to isolate aortic arch anatomy from HLHS computed tomography scan images to create digital 3D models. Three-dimensional modeling software was used to modify the exported segmented models and digitally design printable customized patches that were optimally sized for arch reconstruction.

Evaluation: Life-sized models of HLHS aortic arch anatomy and a digitally derived customized patch were 3D printed to allow simulation of surgical suturing and reconstruction. The patient-specific customized patch was successfully used for surgical simulation.

Conclusions: Feasibility of digital design and 3D printing of patient-specific patches for aortic arch reconstruction has been demonstrated. The technology facilitates surgical simulation. Surgical training that leads to an understanding of optimal aortic patch geometry is one element that may potentially influence outcomes for patients with HLHS.

Keywords: 3D modeling; 3D printing; 3D segmentation; congenital heart disease; hypoplastic left heart syndrome; surgical simulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aorta, Thoracic / anatomy & histology
  • Aorta, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Computer-Aided Design*
  • Humans
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / surgery*
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Simulation Training / methods*
  • Software
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • United States