Use of rotational angiography in congenital cardiac catheterisations to generate three-dimensional-printed models

Cardiol Young. 2021 Sep;31(9):1407-1411. doi: 10.1017/S1047951121000275. Epub 2021 Feb 18.


Background: Three-dimensional printing is increasingly utilised for congenital heart defect procedural planning. CT or MR datasets are typically used for printing, but similar datasets can be obtained from three-dimensional rotational angiography. We sought to assess the feasibility and accuracy of printing three-dimensional models of CHD from rotational angiography datasets.

Methods: Retrospective review of CHD catheterisations using rotational angiography was performed, and patient and procedural details were collected. Imaging data from rotational angiography were segmented, cleaned, and printed with polylactic acid on a Dremel® 3D Idea Builder (Dremel, Mount Prospect, IL, USA). Printing time and materials' costs were captured. CT scans of printed models were compared objectively to the original virtual models. Two independent, non-interventional paediatric cardiologists provided subjective ratings of the quality and accuracy of the printed models.

Results: Rotational angiography data from 15 catheterisations on vascular structures were printed. Median print time was 3.83 hours, and material costs were $2.84. The CT scans of the printed models highly matched with the original digital models (root mean square for Hausdorff distance 0.013 ± 0.003 mesh units). Independent reviewers correctly described 80 and 87% of the models (p = 0.334) and reported high quality and accuracy (5 versus 5, p = NS; κ = 0.615).

Conclusion: Imaging data from rotational angiography can be converted into accurate three-dimensional-printed models of CHD. The cost of printing the models was negligible, but the print time was prohibitive for real-time use. As the speed of three-dimensional printing technology increases, novel future applications may allow for printing patient-specific devices based on rotational angiography datasets.

Keywords: Three-dimensional printing; cardiac catheterisation; congenital heart disease; tetralogy of Fallot.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Child
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*
  • Retrospective Studies