High-resolution 3D reconstructions of human vasculatures: creation of educational tools and benchtop models for transcatheter devices

Mikayle A. Holm, Kendall Emfield, Tinen L. Iles, Paul A. Iaizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Transcatheter therapies are a common way to treat cardiovascular diseases. These therapies are complicated by significant anatomical patient-to-patient variations that exist in terms of transcatheter vascular pathways. Adding to the complexity of transcatheter procedures, the training tools used for physician education often overlook vast patient-to-patient variations and utilize idealized models of patient anatomy that may be unrealistic. In this study, anatomically accurate models were created from high-resolution images of real patient vasculatures. Using fourteen human cadavers donated for research, we collected high-resolution images to generate 3D computational renderings of various patient anatomies. These models make up the “Transcatheter Pathways Vasculature Database” that can be used for physician education and training, as well as improving transcatheter delivery system design. We performed multiple studies that emphasize the anatomical differences that exist in patient vasculatures. Using 3D printing and virtual reality, we developed educational materials and benchtop models to train physicians using true patient anatomies. These tools can also provide device designers with data to improve their products based on real patient vessels. The “Transcatheter Pathways Vasculature Database” highlights differences between patient vasculatures. By educating and training physicians with patient anatomies that accurately represent significant patient-to-patient variations, learning is more translatable to what is seen in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Intervention and Therapeutics
Issue number3
Early online dateSep 1 2021
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by unrestricted research gifts from the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, James B. Linsmayer Foundation, Stratasys, and Lillehei Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Japanese Association of Cardiovascular Intervention and Therapeutics.


  • CT imaging
  • Human vasculature
  • Transcatheter therapies


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