April 24, 2015
Yet another child has been saved thanks to 3D printing technology. We’ve written before about how the use of CT scanning and 3D printed models have helped improve outcomes for complex pediatric procedures. Now the same technology has helped save a teenager at Children’s Hospital of Michigan (part of the Detroit Medical Center).
Ariana Smith, a 17-year-old from Taylor, MI, was diagnosed with a large aortic aneurysm in her heart back in 2014. The condition, complicated with a tortuous aorta with a distorted shape, can potentially be life threatening.
“Ariana’s condition was extensively discussed with our pediatric cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists in order to provide the best treatment and outcome. Surgical therapy was a high-risk operation for her age and anatomy, which could lead to possible complications with her aorta,” says Daisuke Kobayashi, M.D., a cardiologist on staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, who managed her treatment and care.
Physicians wanted to treat her using covered stents to expand the artery and block the aneurysm. The hospital is participating in a research study called the COAST II trial (COarctation of the Aorta Stent Trial).
Because of the complexity of the procedure, the doctors used computed tomography (CT) to create 3D printed models of the girls’ heart using the Mimics Innovation Suite software and HeartPrint services from Materialise. The surgical team was able to plan and practice the procedure prior to surgery, which helped identify potential problems and better place the stent.
“We anticipate that Ariana will not require surgery to treat this condition. Dr. Kobayashi will follow her closely in the office. Most importantly, this experience will allow us to treat future patients more safely with the use of 3D printing technology. This is only the beginning,” said Dr. Daniel Turner, one of the surgeons.