Development of Three-Dimensional Printed Craniocerebral Models for Simulated Neurosurgery.World Neurosurg 2016; 91:434-42WN
To use three-dimensional (3D) printed craniocerebral models to guide neurosurgery and design the best operative route preoperatively.
Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography angiography, and functional magnetic resonance images of the patients were collected as needed, reconstructed to form multicolor 3D craniocerebral images, and printed to form solid 3D models. The hollow aneurysm model was printed with rubberlike material; craniocerebral models were printed with resin or gypsum.
The 3D printed hollow aneurysm model was highly representative of what was observed during the surgery. The model had realistic texture and elasticity and was used for preoperative simulation of aneurysm clipping for clip selection, which was the same as was used during the surgery. The craniocerebral aneurysm model clearly showed the spatial relation between the aneurysm and surrounding tissues, which can be used to select the best surgical approach in the preoperative simulation, to evaluate the necessity of drilling the anterior clinoid process, and to determine the feasibility of using a contralateral approach. The craniocerebral tumor and anatomic model showed the spatial relation between tumor and intracranial vasculatures, tractus pyramidalis, and functional areas, which was helpful 1) when selecting the optimal surgical approach to avoid damage to brain function, 2) for learning the functional anatomy of the craniocerebral structure, and 3) for preoperative selection of surgical spaces in the sellar region.
3D printing provides neurosurgeons with solid craniocerebral models that can be observed and operated on directly and effectively, which further improves the accuracy of neurosurgeries.