Axial3D Enhances Visualisations of Complex Anatomy with 3D Printing

The 3D printed anatomical model
Above: The 3D printed anatomical model by Axial3D/Image Credit: Axial3D

Osteosarcoma, while rare, is the most common primary bone cancer in children and adolescents, accounting for approximately 10% of new pediatric cancer diagnoses in the United States each year. In this case, the patient presented with osteosarcoma of the femur. A physical 3D model was requested from Axial3D and reconstructed from 1100 MRI and CT images.

The team’s main objective for acquiring the model was to understand the specific location of the osteosarcoma in relation to another key anatomy:

  • Muscles of the leg (clear)
  • Bony anatomy (white)
  • Veins & arteries (blue & red)
  • Tumor (green)

The model itself was a very complex piece, printed in clear resin – with the bone, veins, arteries, and tumor contrasted, and split/magnetized (you can see in the image above). This visualization was incredibly important to the multidisciplinary team who were planning the best way forward in treating the patient. The model also had another important role, in educating the patient’s family, reducing anxiety and supporting the informed consent process.

The model was critical in the team’s ability to visualize the close proximity of the osteosarcoma and surrounding vasculature.

With this unique clarity and insight, the 3D model became an incredibly powerful visual tool for rapidly getting agreement within the surgical team as to the best approach to take for this life-threatening condition.

In addition, the model was used to fully explain the surgical procedure to the patient’s parents. Parental education and consent are a particularly sensitive but critical step, balancing the need to give the parents enough clarity of the information to allow them to make decisions about the care to be given to their child, whilst trying to minimise anxiety for the family.

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