Patient-specific 3D printed models of renal tumours using home-made 3D printer in comparison with commerical 3D printer
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The purpose of this study is to create three-dimensional (3D) printed models of renal tumours with use of home-made and commercially available 3D printers and compare the accuracy of 3D printed models in delineating renal tumours and costs associated with 3D printing between these 3D printers. Life-size 3D printed kidney models of two patients with suspected renal cell carcinoma were generated with use of high-resolution contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) images which were post-processed and segmented to show normal renal anatomy and renal tumours. Measurements of tumour diameters were performed at left to right and craniocaudal dimensions and were compared on 2D axial, multiplanar reformation (MPR) and 3D volume rendering CT images with those on 3D physical models to determine the accuracy differences between these techniques. 3D printed models were successfully generated by both commercial and home-made 3D printers with accurately replicating renal anatomy and renal tumours. Although there was no significant difference in measuring tumour diameters, measurements on 3D printed models between commercial and home-made 3D printers were within 0.9 mm in these two cases. Similarly, a good correlation was found in measurements made between 3D volume rendering images and 3D printed models with differences between 0.85 and 0.98 mm, 0.69 and 0.73 mm, for cases 1 and 2, respectively. Measurements in 3D printed models exceeded 2D axial and MPR measurements by an average of more than 1.5 mm. The printing cost per kidney model was US$1 and US$200 for home-made and commercial 3D printers, respectively. This study shows the feasibility of creating 3D printed models of demonstrating renal anatomy and renal tumours with use of home-made 3D printer with accuracy similar to that from commercial 3D printer, but at a much lower cost.
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