Article Abstract

Patient-specific 3D printed model of biliary ducts with congenital cyst

Authors: Amee Allan, Catherine Kealley, Andrew Squelch, Yin How Wong, Chai Hong Yeong, Zhonghua Sun


Background: 3D printing has shown great promise in medical applications, with increasing reports in liver diseases. However, research on 3D printing in biliary disease is limited with lack of studies on validation of model accuracy. In this study, we presented our experience of creating a realistic 3D printed model of biliary ducts with congenital cyst. Measurements of anatomical landmarks were compared at different stages of model generation to determine dimensional accuracy.
Methods: Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) images of a patient diagnosed with congenital cyst in the common bile duct with dilated hepatic ducts were used to create the 3D printed model. The 3D printed model was scanned on a 64-slice CT scanner using the similar abdominal CT protocol. Measurements of anatomical structures including common hepatic duct (CHD), right hepatic duct (RHD), left hepatic duct (LHD) and the cyst at left to right and anterior to posterior dimensions were performed and compared between original CT images, the standard tessellation language (STL) image and CT images of the 3D model.
Results: The 3D printing model was successfully generated with replication of biliary ducts and cyst. Significant differences in measurements of these landmarks were found between the STL and the original CT images, and the CT images of the 3D printed model and the original CT images (P<0.05). Measurements of the RHD and LHD diameters from the original CT images were significantly larger than those from the CT images of 3D model or STL file (P<0.05), while measurements of the CHD diameters were significantly smaller than those of the other two datasets (P<0.05). No significant differences were reached in measurements of the CHD, RHD, LHD and the biliary cyst between CT images of the 3D printed model and STL file (P=0.08–0.98).
Conclusions: This study shows our experience in producing a realistic 3D printed model of biliary ducts and biliary cyst. The model was found to replicate anatomical structures and cyst with high accuracy between the STL file and the CT images of the 3D model. Large discrepancy in dimensional measurements was noted between the original CT and STL file images, and the original CT and CT images of the 3D model, highlighting the necessity of further research with inclusion of more cases of biliary disease to validate accuracy of 3D printed biliary models.