3D Printing for Cardiovascular Simulation | Tampa General Hospital

3D Printing for Cardiovascular Simulation

Published: Feb 22, 2023

By Tampa General Hospital

The HVI Cardiac Imaging Center offers patients advanced imaging technologies to diagnose and guide treatment of complex cardiovascular diseases. A diverse, multidisciplinary team of Cardiology and Radiology specialists collaborate to diagnose and treat the full range of heart disorders.


A leading referral center for tertiary and chronic cardiac conditions associated with heart disease and post-surgery complications, the HVI echolab is staffed by Level III and board-certified expert echocardiographers who perform over 25,000 echocardiograms each year. The echolab offers 3 and 4D echocardiographic imaging, strain echocardiography and other cutting-edge technologies. We specialize in studies that support the expansion and growth of cardiac surgery, transplant, electrophysiology, and structural programs.

The HVI Non-Invasive Cardiology Lab successfully obtained reaccreditation in adult echocardiography through the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission through 2025. This accreditation speaks to a level of quality that is world-class.


A unique collaboration between the Cardiac Imaging and Radiology programs further expands the HVI’s capabilities. TGH is among the select academic medical centers with a dedicated, collaborative fellowship for advanced cardiac imaging, training the next generation of cardiac imaging experts.


The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and TGH HVI, led by Dr. Summer Decker, PhD, associate professor and director of 3D Clinical Applications for the Department of Radiology at the USF Health, were the first in Florida to establish a 3D Cardiovascular Simulation (3D-CVS) laboratory. Clinical 3D printing is not just a plastic model, but a replica of a living heart or other body part from a real patient – accurate in size and shape to within one one-hundredth of an inch.

Lab scientists simulate and plan complex structural procedures by placing printed cardiac models in specially designed cradles, mimicking the heart’s position in the chest. Interventional catheters are then introduced through modeled vessels to deliver the specific devices as they would be during a real procedure. The models, when coupled with circulatory simulations, can give valuable hemodynamic informa-tion on the performance of the implanted device before actually performing the procedure on that patient.

TGH has also acquired new technology to expand the use of 3D Intracardiac Echocardiography in a variety of structural procedures (including Watchman, PFO closures, MitraClip) and continues to apply the technology in EP procedures. Using 3D Cardiovascular Simulation (3D-CVS), cardiothoracic surgeons at the HVI have revolutionized heart surgery, save lives, cut operating times by hours, and deliver better outcomes.

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