3D printed pathological sectioning boxes to facilitate radiological–pathological correlation in hepatectomy cases

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Radiogenomics promises to identify tumour imaging features indicative of genomic or proteomic aberrations that can be therapeutically targeted allowing precision personalised therapy. An accurate radiological–pathological correlation is critical to the process of radiogenomic characterisation of tumours. An accurate correlation, however, is difficult to achieve with current pathological sectioning techniques which result in sectioning in non-standard planes. The purpose of this work is to present a technique to standardise hepatic sectioning to facilitateradiological–pathological correlation. We describe a process in which three-dimensional (3D)-printed specimen boxes based on preoperative cross-sectional imaging (CT and MRI) can be used to facilitate pathological sectioning in standard planes immediately on hepatic resection enabling improved tumour mapping. We have applied this process in 13 patients undergoing hepatectomy and have observed close correlation between imaging and gross pathology in patients with both unifocal and multifocal tumours.

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