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Towards a mixed reality environment for preoperative planning of cardiac surgery.

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German Cancer Research Center, Div. Medical and Biological Informatics, Germany.


We present a novel approach to studying physical heart models by coupling them with virtual 3D representations in a mixed reality environment. The limitations of standalone physical models (non-interactive, static) are overcome by the corresponding virtual models, which in turn become more natural to interact with. The potential of this approach is exemplified by a setup which enables cardiac surgeons to interactively trace the mitral annulus, a part of the cardiac skeleton playing a vital role in mitral valve surgery. We present results of a pilot study and discuss ways of improving and extending the system. The described mixed reality environment could easily be adapted to other fields and thus has the potential to become a new tool for investigating 3D medical data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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