MAM 2016: Fantastic 3-D Experience of the Heart or Why We Were Wearing 3-D glasses!
by Steve S. Ryan, PhD
In 1966, the wide-screen movie Fantastic Voyage took viewers inside the human body by injecting a miniaturized submarine, its crew and a surgical team into the carotid artery. Their mission was to break up a clot and save the VIP patient. Traveling through the heart to the brain, reveals a world of dazzling color, a floating wonderland with huge red corpuscles, whirling globules, platelets and particles.
I had that same amazing experience when Dr. Joris Ector presented his incredible 3-D vision of a real heart. Just like when watching the movie, there were involuntary gasps and shocks as you felt what it was like to move through the heart.
And yes, we had to wear 3-D glasses! That’s got to be a first at an A-Fib conference.
Starting with the exterior of a beating heart, Dr. Ector, from the University of Leuven, Belgium, showed every possible 3-D angle.
Next, he peeled away the exterior to reveal the movement of the heart from the inside. Next, he whisked you inside the heart so fast that you almost got dizzy.
Particularly interesting was the trip through the left atrium into the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) with its trabeculations (thick muscular tissue bands) which looked like columns in close-up.
In some ways, Dr. Ector’s presentation felt more real and comprehensive than watching footage of an actual heart beating. It was an astounding experience (just like watching Fantastic Voyage in 1966). (I wish I had an interior of the 3-D heart to share with you.)
Image credit: Fantastic Voyage movie still from Foresight Institute
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