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3-D printing technology from CT images may be used effectively for neurosurgical planning

3D models, produced by combining a patient's CT scans and 3D printing technology are proving useful in neurosurgical planning.

3D printing technology is a fast and affordable way to build 3D models for neurosurgical planning. Radiologists are able to transform ultra high-resolution CT patient images into 3D solid models using a 3D color printer commonly used in architecture, engineering and construction.

An advantage of 3-D models is that they identify defects that 2-D images do not, which helps radiologists view a clearer impression of the image. With increasing frequency, surgeons and other physicians, and patients alike, request assistance from radiologists in order to identify complex morphologies demonstrated on imaging studies.

"We are applying a technique that has many uses in other industries to aid surgeons in planning procedures on complicated anatomy and pathology as well as help them communicate with patients and their families. Tripler doctors were sending data from Hawaii to the mainland US to have models made at great expense and considerable time. Other radiologists may find these resources in an architect's office or at a factory using 3D printing to make prototypes for just about anything you can fit in a shoebox," said Michelle Yoshida, MD, one of the authors of the exhibit.

The exhibit is being presented in conjunction with the 2011 American Roentgen Ray Society's annual meeting April 30 in Chicago. The exhibit was a collaborative effort between the Department of Radiology at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI, and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command/Central Identification Laboratory, at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. For a copy of the exhibit abstract or to request an interview with the lead author, please contact Keri Sperry via email at or 703-296-3104.

Keri Sperry | EurekAlert!
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