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Utility of 3D printed cardiac models in congenital heart disease: a scoping review


Objective Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is a novel technology with applications in healthcare, particularly for congenital heart disease (CHD). We sought to explore the spectrum of use of 3D printed CHD models (3D-CM) and identify knowledge gaps within the published body of literature to guide future research.

Methods We conducted a scoping review targeting published literature on the use of 3D-CMs. The databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched from their inception until 19 July 2019. Inclusion criteria were primary research; studies reporting use of 3D-CMs; and human subjects. Exclusion criteria were studies where 3D-CMs were generated for proof of concept but not used; and studies focused on bioprinting or computational 3D-CMs. Studies were assessed for inclusion and data were extracted from eligible articles in duplicate.

Results The search returned 648 results. Following assessment, 79 articles were included in the final qualitative synthesis. The majority (66%) of studies are case reports or series. 15% reported use of a control group. Three main areas of utilisation are for (1) surgical and interventional cardiology procedural planning (n=62), (2) simulation (n=25), and (3) education for medical personnel or patients and their families (n=17). Multiple studies used 3D-CMs for more than one of these areas.

Conclusions 3DP for CHD is a new technology with an evolving literature base. Most of the published literature are experiential reports as opposed to manuscripts on scientifically robust studies. Our study has identified gaps in the literature and addressed priority areas for future research.

  • congenital heart disease
  • congenital heart disease surgery

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