Aortic infection is a rare, but severe condition. Primary infection with Coxiella burnetii bacteria in patients with chronic Q fever is notorious in the southern part of The Netherlands. Leaving the infected aorta untreated can lead to death in up to 80% of cases. The spiral vein reconstruction, advocated by Drs. Patrick Vriens and Jan Heyligers is a successful method for treating these patients (www.spiralvein.org).
This 3D-printed model was used to explain to patients and students about the rare but interesting medical case. It took us 2.5 days to print the model with the Ultimaker 3 (Ultimaker BV, Geldermalsen, the Netherlands).
The costs for the print are approximately 10-15 euro. We initially printed it upside down to reduce the amount of polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA (support), that was needed to print the model. Because of the dual extruder, we were able to print very small medical details. This model shows the relation between the abdominal aortic aneurysm very clearly. Furthermore, the small lumbar arteries to the vertebral bodies, at the level of L1-L4, are seen very clearly.