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World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2014 Jul;5(3):421-6. doi: 10.1177/2150135114528721.

Utilizing Three-Dimensional Printing Technology to Assess the Feasibility of High-Fidelity Synthetic Ventricular Septal Defect Models for Simulation in Medical Education.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
2
The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA Department of Cardiology, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
3
The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
4
Division of Cardiac Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
5
Division of Thoracic Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.
6
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
7
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA dnath@childrensnational.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current educational approach for teaching congenital heart disease (CHD) anatomy to students involves instructional tools and techniques that have significant limitations. This study sought to assess the feasibility of utilizing present-day three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to create high-fidelity synthetic heart models with ventricular septal defect (VSD) lesions and applying these models to a novel, simulation-based educational curriculum for premedical and medical students.

METHODS:

Archived, de-identified magnetic resonance images of five common VSD subtypes were obtained. These cardiac images were then segmented and built into 3D computer-aided design models using Mimics Innovation Suite software. An Objet500 Connex 3D printer was subsequently utilized to print a high-fidelity heart model for each VSD subtype. Next, a simulation-based educational curriculum using these heart models was developed and implemented in the instruction of 29 premedical and medical students. Assessment of this curriculum was undertaken with Likert-type questionnaires.

RESULTS:

High-fidelity VSD models were successfully created utilizing magnetic resonance imaging data and 3D printing. Following instruction with these high-fidelity models, all students reported significant improvement in knowledge acquisition (P < .0001), knowledge reporting (P < .0001), and structural conceptualization (P < .0001) of VSDs.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is feasible to use present-day 3D printing technology to create high-fidelity heart models with complex intracardiac defects. Furthermore, this tool forms the foundation for an innovative, simulation-based educational approach to teach students about CHD and creates a novel opportunity to stimulate their interest in this field.

KEYWORDS:

cardiac anatomy/pathologic anatomy; congenital heart disease; education; learning aids; ventricular septal defect

PMID:
24958045
DOI:
10.1177/2150135114528721
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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