E4814. 3D Printing Congenital and Acquired Tracheal Anomalies
  1. Elise Dunning; Creighton University School of Medicine
  2. Christian Henriksen; Creighton University School of Medicine
  3. Shiv Patel; Creighton University School of Medicine
  4. Jack Kirsch; Creighton University School of Medicine
  5. Randy Richardson-; ; Creighton University School of Medicine
This project delves into the often-overlooked domain of rare congenital airway anomalies. Physicians' ability to diagnose, surgeons' efficacy in treatment, and families' understanding are compromised by limited exposure to such conditions. Addressing these challenges, our project sought to explore the plausibility of employing high-fidelity, cost-effective, 3D-printing approaches to create an assortment of lifesize models alongside magnified renditions, representing six unique tracheobronchial anomalies.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
Ultimately, our initiative aims to bridge the information gap, fostering improved diagnosis, treatment, and comprehensive understanding of congenital airway anomalies by 3D printing these complicated and difficult to visualize pathologies.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
To begin, CT scans of seven unique tracheal variations were identified. A normal pediatric trachea was included for reference. The anomalies included an anomalous right upper lobe bronchus, pig (tracheal) bronchus, left bronchial isomerism, right bronchial isomerism, tracheomalacia, and compression from a double aortic arch. The process of producing the models began with 3D model rendering from CT scans, which was completed using GE Healthcare AW Volumeshare 7. The model was converted to an .stl file and uploaded to the software Meshmixer. The model was hollowed out, the top was removed, and vents were placed to allow for airflow during the print. Finally, the display stand was created by combining a cylindrical rod and square platform with the model. To make the magnified models, the lifesize models were sized up 2–3.65 × from the original model, depending on the image. The .stl file was then transferred to the software Preform, where supports were added. The models were printed on a Form3 printer using white resin and 100-µm thick layers. After printing, the supports were manually removed. The models were washed in an isopropyl alcohol tank and cured with ultraviolet light for 60 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius. Overall, seven unique models were printed as above, each with a lifesize and magnified version. The details of the soft tissue were preserved, and the proportions were maintained in the magnifying process.

In conclusion, our exploration into the realm of 3D printing in medicine underscores its pivotal role in addressing challenges posed by complex anatomy, such as rare congenital airway anomalies, and provides a cost-effective framework in doing so. The utilization of high-fidelity 3D-printed models not only enhances understanding for patients and their families, but also equips physicians with a profound grasp of intricate anatomical structures. Moreover, the elimination of the need for expertise in reading radiological images improves accessibility to crucial medical information for patients and families. Future studies could delve into the utilization of elastic resin, potentially offering enhanced visibility and a new tactile dimension, further enriching the learning and planning experience for patients and physicians alike.