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Making three-dimensional echocardiography more tangible: a workflow for three-dimensional printing with echocardiographic data


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a rapidly evolving technology with several potential applications in the diagnosis and management of cardiac disease. Recently, 3D printing (i.e. rapid prototyping) derived from 3D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has become possible. Due to the multiple steps involved and the specific equipment required for each step, it might be difficult to start implementing echocardiography-derived 3D printing in a clinical setting. In this review, we provide an overview of this process, including its logistics and organization of tools and materials, 3D TEE image acquisition strategies, data export, format conversion, segmentation, and printing. Generation of patient-specific models of cardiac anatomy from echocardiographic data is a feasible, practical application of 3D printing technology.


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The authors thank Dr Mathew Jolley and the 3DSlicer development team for their assistance with this project.


This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.

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Correspondence to Mario Montealegre-Gallegos MD.

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Mashari, A., Montealegre-Gallegos, M., Knio, Z. et al. Making three-dimensional echocardiography more tangible: a workflow for three-dimensional printing with echocardiographic data. Echo Res Pract 3, R57–R64 (2016).

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