Utility of three-dimensional printing in preoperative planning for children with anomalous pulmonary venous connection: a single center experience

Jiajun Xu, Yangfan Tian, Jun Yin, Jinhua Wang, Weize Xu, Zhuo Shi, Jianzhong Fu, Qiang Shu


Background: This study sought to assess the application of three-dimensional (3D) printing in preoperative planning for anomalous pulmonary venous connection (APVC).
Methods: From November 2017 to January 2019, 17 children diagnosed with APVC were enrolled in this study (total APVC supracardiac type in 10 children, intracardiac type in 2 children, infracardiac type in 1 child, mixed type in 1 child, partial APVC in 3 children). The age was ranged 2 days to 20 months old (median age 1 m 5 d). Before operation, 3D-printed patient-specific heart models were created based on a cardiac computed tomography (CCT) data set with photosensitive resin materials in stereolithography (SLA) technology. These 3D models were used for presurgical decision making and navigation in the operation room. After surgery, the roles of the 3D models were evaluated with questionnaires.
Results: All 17 children successfully underwent surgeries. 3D heart models accurately demonstrated the malformations, which were all confirmed consistent with surgery findings. The final surgery programs were in accord with presurgical planning. Modeling took 0.5–2 h, with an average of 0.9±0.4 h. Printing took 2–5 h, with an average of 3.4±1.2 h. All these children were discharged without adverse events. During follow-up, 2 children suspect of anastomotic stenosis were performed cardiac CT, and 3D printed heart models were created. Results confirmed there was no obvious anastomotic stenosis. Questionnaire results indicate that 3D printing is a promising technique in clinical practice.
Conclusions: 3D printing is beneficial for preoperative planning and post-surgery follow-up in APVC.