So many conditions can affect the heart, and whether the condition is rare or common, everything is serious when the heart is involved. One of the more common conditions of the heart is called mitral valve regurgitation. It affects more than 4 million Americans and almost one in 10 people aged 75 or older. Mitral valve regurgitation is a condition in which the mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, and blood leaks backwards every time the left ventricle contracts. Symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.

There are varying degrees of severity of mitral valve regurgitation. Mild cases may not require treatment, but severe cases can cause arrhythmias or even heart failure if left untreated. Treatment for severe cases often requires open heart surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve, but that’s a risky option for the age group most commonly affected by the condition. Non-invasive options are entering the market, though, and good, thorough pre-surgical planning is crucial.

Dr. Dee Dee Wang and Marianne Rollet discuss mitral valve planning with 3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief Sarah Goehrke

Materialise knows a lot about pre-surgical planning, and is now entering the pre-market phase for a new solution that will help physicians plan ahead for complex transcatheter mitral valve replacement and repair (TMVR/r) procedures. The company is currently working with hospital partners in the US and EU to validate the importance of 3D modeling for these procedures.

One hospital system that Materialise has partnered with is Henry Ford Health System, one of the most advanced hospital systems in the country in terms of using 3D printing for medical pre-planning – particularly for cardiac procedures. Pre-planning imaging technology is also a part of Henry Ford’s expertise, and its validated, patented, mitral planning workflow was developed through Materialise’s Mimics Innovation Suite. The two organizations are now working to bring that workflow to a broader TMVR market.

Eric Myers, Product Designer, Innovation Institute at Henry Ford, working in Mimics

“Expanding access to this proven workflow is another step towards our mission to develop innovative products that result in a better and healthier world,” said Brigitte de Vet, Vice President of Medical at Materialise. “Working with specific hospital partners in this pre-market phase of development of a TMVR planning tool means we are one step closer to helping more patients receive therapy without the risks inherent to open-heart surgery.”

Organizations participating in the Mitral Valve Planning research program will use this validated workflow to assess left ventricular outflow tract obstructions (LVOTO) and other factors involved in planning for these mitral valve procedures. A tremendous amount of work has gone into developing this technology, with a dedicated team led by Dr. Dee Dee Wang, Director of Structural Heart Imaging and Medical Director, 3D Printing, at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, working tirelessly to build what Dr. Wang calls “the new healthcare.”

Dr. Dee Dee Wang and Imaging/Applications Specialist Marianne Rollet in front of Dr. Wang’s 3D printed heart library

“The mitral valve anatomy is much more complex than other areas of the heart that transcatheter devices currently treat,” said Dr. Wang. “The ability to bring advanced 3D computer aided design (CAD) technology and software into the transcatheter mitral space has been a real game changer. This 3D visualization of patient specific anatomy can help cardiologists and surgeons gauge each patient’s mitral annular dimensions to better understand how a device will fit in the patient’s heart and the nature of the obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) for successful TMVR device implants in highly diseased hearts. This, along with proper imaging and skilled staff, brings peri-procedural planning and patient-centered outcomes to a whole new level.”

You can learn more at the TCT 2017 Conference, which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center from October 29th to November 2nd. Dr. Wang will discuss the technology at Booth #3030 on October 30th at 11:15 AM and 12:00 PM. To learn more about the pre-market phase of mitral planning contact Janelle Schrot at janelle.schrot@materialise.com.

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[All photos: Sarah Goehrke]

 

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