Color-coded patient-specific physical models of congenital heart disease

Fariha Ejaz, Justin Ryan, Megan Henriksen, Lillee Stomski, Megan Feith, Michele Osborn, Stephen Pophal, Randy Richardson, David Frakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this study was to develop and apply new physical heart defect models (PHDMs) that are patient-specific and color-coded with an optimized map. Design/methodology/approach - Heart defect anatomies were segmented from medical images and reconstructed to form virtual models, which were then color-coded and rapid prototyped. The resulting PHDMs were used in a medical educational study to evaluate their pedagogical efficacy and in clinical case studies to investigate their utility in surgical planning. Findings - A growing library of 36 PHDMs (including the most common defects) was generated. Results from the educational study showed that the PHDMs enabled uniquely effective learning, and the clinical case studies indicated that the models added value as surgical planning aids. Research limitations/implications - The education study involved a limited number of students, so future work should consider a larger sample size. The clinical case studies favored use of the PHDMs in surgical planning, but provided only qualitative support. Practical implications - Workflow optimization is critical for PHDMs to be used effectively in surgical planning because some operations must be performed in emergently. Social implications - Because PHDMs have potential to influence surgeons' actions as surgical planning aids, their use in that context must be thoroughly vetted. Originality/value - The proposed models represent the first PHDMs that are patient-specific and fully color-coded with a standardized map optimized for the human visual system. The models enhanced medical education and facilitated effective surgical planning in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalRapid Prototyping Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 10 2014


  • Congenital defect
  • Heart model
  • Medical education
  • Surgical planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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