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3D Printing and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

In This Video

  • Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may benefit from a surgical myectomy, but cardiologists must first determine where to focus and how much to take out during surgery
  • The Division of Cardiac Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital has partnered with the Department of Radiology to use 3D printing as a guide in their surgical approach
  • Thor Sundt, MD, division chief, explains how a 3D model of the left ventricle aided a recent septal myectomy

In this video, Thor Sundt, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses how their partnership with the Department of Radiology and the use of 3D printing has become a useful tool in his team's approach to the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.


I'm delighted to have some time to speak with you today about our approach to the treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and particularly the way we've enlisted our colleagues in Radiology around three-dimensional printing of the left ventricle to help guide our surgical approach.

Sorting out A) which patients will be best served with a surgical myectomy, and B) if we're going to do a surgical myectomy, how much should we take out, where should we focus… Those are all issues that I think can be addressed by leveraging the experience of our radiologists, particularly in three-dimensional printing, and I want to show you a three-dimensional model made of one of the patients that we did a septal myectomy on, that helped us in guiding our therapy.

If we look inside, they bivalve these for me, you can really see, particularly in this patient, you can appreciate how there is essentially an apical cavity right here and you can see this septal bulge. And here on this site I've drawn a diagram or a line, to demonstrate what it would look like to take out that piece of septum. And you can see what looks like an apical chamber, a very narrow spot here, and the aim to do is to cut this. This also shows how deeply into the ventricle one needs to go to get adequate gradient relief.

For example, in this particular patient, this 3D print helped me to understand and appreciate how deeply I needed to go into the ventricle to be able to get adequate gradient relief.

I will tell you that patients really appreciate seeing the three-dimensional reconstruction of their ventricles. This has really turned out to be a tremendously useful tool in helping me to do a better job with septal myectomies, which is an extremely effective way to treat hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

Learn more about the Division of Cardiac Surgery

Refer a patient to the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

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