Interdisciplinary cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Volume 37, Issue 2, 1 1 2023, Pages ivad072 Optimized preoperative planning of double outlet right ventricle patients by 3D printing and virtual reality: a pilot study. Peek JJ, Bakhuis W, Sadeghi AH, Veen KM, Roest AAW, Bruining N, van Walsum T, Hazekamp MG, Bogers AJJC


In complex double outlet right ventricle (DORV) patients, the optimal surgical approach may be difficult to assess based on conventional 2-dimensional (2D) ultrasound (US) and computed tomography (CT) imaging. The aim of this study is to assess the added value of 3-dimensional (3D) printed and 3D virtual reality (3D-VR) models of the heart used for surgical planning in DORV patients, supplementary to the gold standard 2D imaging modalities.


Five patients with different DORV subtypes and high-quality CT scans were selected retrospectively. 3D prints and 3D-VR models were created. Twelve congenital cardiac surgeons and paediatric cardiologists, from 3 different hospitals, were shown 2D-CT first, after which they assessed the 3D print and 3D-VR models in random order. After each imaging method, a questionnaire was filled in on the visibility of essential structures and the surgical plan.


Spatial relationships were generally better visualized using 3D methods (3D printing/3D-VR) than in 2D. The feasibility of ventricular septum defect patch closure could be determined best using 3D-VR reconstructions (3D-VR 92%, 3D print 66% and US/CT 46%, P < 0.01). The percentage of proposed surgical plans corresponding to the performed surgical approach was 66% for plans based on US/CT, 78% for plans based on 3D printing and 80% for plans based on 3D-VR visualization.


This study shows that both 3D printing and 3D-VR have additional value for cardiac surgeons and cardiologists over 2D imaging, because of better visualization of spatial relationships. As a result, the proposed surgical plans based on the 3D visualizations matched the actual performed surgery to a greater extent.

Interdiscip Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2023 8;37(2):ivad072