Patient-specific 3D printed model in delineating brain glioma and surrounding structures in a pediatric patient
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Background and Objectives: Three-dimensional (3D) printing has been increasingly used in medicine with applications in the diagnostic assessment of disease extent, medical education and training, preoperative planning, and surgical simulation. The use of 3D printing in brain tumors is very limited. In this study, we presented our preliminary experience of creating patient-specific 3D printed model of a brain tumor in a pediatric patient and demonstrated the feasibility of using 3D printing in delineating brain anatomy and tumor. Materials and Methods: A life-size 3D printed brain model of a 6-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma, was generated. The model was created using high-resolution magnetic resonance images which were postprocessed and segmented to demonstrate normal anatomical structures and the tumor. The tumor was confirmed to be Grade I pilocytic astrocytoma after neurosurgery. Results: 3D printed model was found to provide realistic visualization of brain anatomical structures and tumor, and enhance understanding of pathology in relation to the surrounding structures. The mean difference in diameter measurements of the brain tumor was 0.53 mm (0.98%) between the 3D printed model and computerized model. Conclusions: This study shows it is feasible to generate a 3D printed model of brain tumor with encouraging results achieved to replicate brain anatomy and tumor. 3D printed model of brain tumor could serve as an excellent tool for preoperative planning and simulation of surgical procedures, which deserve to be investigated in further studies.
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