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3D Printed Heart to be Showcased

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EuroEcho-Imaging is the leading congress for clinicians and scientists to present and discuss the latest research and clinical findings on echocardiography and other cardiovascular imaging techniques. In early December 2014, it will reveal state of the art technologies for choosing implants and guiding procedures.

Professor Patrizio Lancellotti, EACVI President, said: “The heart is a 3D structure that we traditionally analysed using 2D imaging including echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) or cardiac computed tomography (CT). But with the advent of 3D imaging, now we can clearly evaluate the structure of the heart in different planes.”

He added: “An amazing advance in this field is the ability to print a 3D model of the heart. This will help clinicians doing surgical and percutaneous interventions on the mitral or aortic valve to choose the perfect size of device and plan the procedure according to the patient’s anatomy. Also new is the ability to create a 3D computational model of the heart which will assist with interventions but also improve our understanding of the heart’s physiology. With this novel technology we will gain insights into the interactions between the valves and the ventricles, the valves and the aorta, and the valves and the left atrium.”

Imaging in acute cardiac care is the second theme, with hot topics in the programme including stress imaging to rule out myocardial ischaemia. Prof Lancellotti said: “Imaging, especially echocardiography, has become the primary method for diagnosing patients with unstable cardiovascular disease in the acute setting.”