A 3D-printed Heart Including a Heat-map of the Electrical Activity from Non-invasive Measurements

Roger Abächerli1, Adrian von Wyl1, Peter van Dam2, Carsten Haack1
1HSLU, 2UMC Utrecht


Objective: The localization of a premature ventricular conduction (PVC) is crucial during an electrophysiological examination. A non-invasive pre-exam localization of the PCV can be time saving. We aim to localize the PVCs anatomical origin and to demonstrate the possibility to generate a 3D heat-map of the electrical activity of the heart. Material and Method: A recording of the clinical 12-lead ECG and the MRI from the Eurostars ALVALE project was used. The corresponding picture taken from the patient’s thorax was used in order to track the position of the ECG electrodes. The Cardiac Isochrones Positioning System (CIPS) method was used to localize the PVC, correct for the patient specific electrode position and calculate the cardiac electrical activity. The MRI and the cardiac electrical activity data were used to define the colour-mapping of the 3D-printed heart. Various technologies were tried out and compared. Results: A single combination of attempted methods was simple enough to be practical. A realistic in-silico 3D heart from the MRI DICOM data was constructed. The 3D slicer software was used, followed by the MeshLab tool. The 3D heat map was finally printed with the 3D Colorjet technology using powder from polymeric gypsum. The heat-map colour coding showed the location of the PVC on the anatomical heart and the concourse of the depolarization wave. Conclusion: It is possible to showcase the origin site of the PVC of a clinical patient prior to his electrophysiological examination on a 3D printed heart. The cardiac depolarization wave is encoded into an easy-interpretable heat-map providing the physician and the patient with an accessible tool for immediate analysis.