Assessment of a Patient-Specific, 3-Dimensionally Printed Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgical Model

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Abstract

Importance

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an emerging tool in the creation of anatomical models for simulation and preoperative planning. Its use in sinus and skull base surgery has been limited because of difficulty in replicating the details of sinus anatomy.

Objective

To describe the development of 3D-printed sinus and skull base models for use in endoscopic skull base surgery.

Design, Setting, and Participants

In this single-center study performed from April 1, 2017, through June 1, 2017, a total of 7 otolaryngology residents and 2 attending physicians at a tertiary academic center were recruited to evaluate the procedural anatomical accuracy and haptic feedback of the printed model.

Interventions

A 3D model of sinus and skull base anatomy with high-resolution, 3D printed material (VeroWhite) was printed using a 3D printer. Anatomical accuracy was assessed by comparing a computed tomogram of the original patient with that of the 3D model across set anatomical landmarks (eg, depth of cribriform plate). Image-guided navigation was also used to evaluate accuracy of 13 surgical landmarks. Likert scale questionnaires (1 indicating strongly disagree; 2, disagree; 3, neutral; 4, agree; and 5, strongly agree) were administered to 9 study participants who each performed sinus and skull base dissections on the 3D-printed model to evaluate anatomical accuracy and haptic feedback.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Main outcomes of the study include objective anatomical accuracy through imaging and navigation and haptic evaluation by the study participants.

Results

Seven otolaryngology residents (3 postgraduate year [PGY]-5 residents, 2 PGY-4 residents, 1 PGY-3 resident, and 1 PGY-2 resident) and 2 attending physicians evaluated the haptic feedback of the 3D model. Computed tomographic comparison demonstrated a less than 5% difference between patient and 3D model measurements. Image-guided navigation confirmed accuracy of 13 landmarks to within 1 mm. Likert scores were a mean (SD) of 4.00 (0.71) for overall procedural anatomical accuracy and 4.67 (0.5) for haptic feedback.

Conclusions and Relevance

This study shows that high-resolution, 3D-printed sinus and skull base models can be generated with anatomical and haptic accuracy. This technology has the potential to be useful in surgical training and preoperative planning and as a supplemental or alternative simulation or training platform to cadaveric dissection.

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