Treat children with congenital heart defects even better thanks to new 3D equipment

Editorial Medicalfacts/ Janine Budding November 14, 2022 – 07:29

11 years after the first 3D cardiac catheterization at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in UMC Utrecht, the new, state-of-the-art catheterization device was put into use there this week. With higher image quality, improved 3D capabilities and less radiation, the specialists at the pediatric heart center can map and treat the heart even better. This means less stress for the patient. Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital is the only medical center in the Netherlands where 3D images are made of children with a congenital heart defect.

If a child has a hole in the heart, a blood vessel is narrowed or a heart valve needs to be replaced, it is often done by open heart surgery. However, this is increasingly possible through an intervention via the blood vessels in the groin: a cardiac catheterization.

Watch a video about the most modern catheterization here

How does a cardiac catheterization work?

With small plastic tubes and guide wires, cardiac catheterization doctors – “interventional cardiologists” – can reach the heart from the groin while the child is under anesthesia. Thanks to their experience during X-rays, they know how to find the right way and place. They measure the blood pressure in different places and visualize the heart and vessels in two directions. They can then, for example, close a hole with an umbrella device, angioplasty a narrowing or replace a heart valve. Every year, around 150-200 children at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital undergo a heart catheterization.

What is 3D Cardiac Catheterization?

By creating an image with a rotating X-ray tube, the heart, blood vessels and lungs can be imaged 3-dimensionally in a few seconds. At the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, the team already started 3D cardiac catheterization in 2011. Thanks to these advanced imaging techniques, the interventional cardiologists can understand the heart defects much better and treat them more safely. Therefore, the Children’s Heart Center Utrecht uses the very latest 3D techniques during cardiac catheterizations and has further developed them. As a result, the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital is now one of the best centers worldwide in cardiac catheterization with innovative 3D techniques.

How the heart works in three dimensions helps parents and children better understand the heart defect. The day after the procedure, they watch the 3D videos of their own cardiac catheterization together, and the doctors explain and answer the questions. The parents then get the 3D film home. Sometimes patients use these images of their own heart for a school speech.

The 3D technology brings even more: when preparing for heart surgery, it helps surgeons see the heart in 3 dimensions. This can be done behind the screen or through a 3D print by studying the heart from all sides and angles.

pediatric cardiac care

The Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital at UMC Utrecht is a unique facility for specialist pediatric heart care in the middle of the country. The Center for Congenital Heart Defects in Utrecht is recognized as a Center of Excellence for Rare Disorders (ECZA) for our unique specialties, internationally leading treatment methods and innovations in pediatric cardiac surgery. We are also specifically recognized for four groups of the most serious heart defects, such as single-chamber hearts (including hypoplastic left heart syndrome), improperly connected great arteries (transposition), outflow tract abnormalities (including Tetralogy of Fallot), and body artery or valve abnormalities (aortic abnormalities). .

Source: UMC Utrecht

Editorial Medicalfacts/ Janine Budding

I specialize in interactive news for health care providers, so that health care providers are informed every day of the news that may be relevant to them. Both lay news and news specific to healthcare providers and prescribers. Social media, Women’s Health, Patient advocacy, patient empowerment, personalized medicine & Care 2.0 and the social domain are spearheads for me to pay extra attention to.

I studied physiotherapy and health economics. In addition, I am a registered independent client supporter and informal care broker. I have extensive experience in various positions within the healthcare, social domain and the medical, pharmaceutical industry, nationally and internationally. And has broad medical knowledge of most specialties within the healthcare system. And of the health laws, from which the health service is regulated and financed. Every year I attend most of the leading medical conferences in Europe and America to keep my knowledge up to date and to keep up with the latest developments and innovations. I am currently working on a master’s in applied psychology.

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