Three-Dimensional Printed Modeling of Diffuse Low-Grade Gliomas and Associated White Matter Tract Anatomy

Neurosurgery 80:635–645, 2017

Diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGGs) represent several pathological entities that infiltrate and invade cortical and subcortical structures in the brain.

OBJECTIVE: To describe methods for rapid prototyping of DLGGs and surgically relevant anatomy.

METHODS: Using high-definition imaging data and rapid prototyping technologies, we were able to generate 3 patient DLGGs to scale and represent the associated whitematter tracts in 3 dimensions using advanced diffusion tensor imaging techniques.

RESULTS: This report represents a novel application of 3-dimensional (3-D) printing in neurosurgery and a means to model individualized tumors in 3-D space with respect to subcorticalwhite matter tract anatomy. Faculty and resident evaluations of this technology were favorable at our institution.

CONCLUSION: Developing an understanding of the anatomic relationships existing within individuals is fundamental to successful neurosurgical therapy. Imaging-based rapid prototyping may improve on our ability to plan for and treat complex neuro-oncologic pathology.