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J Endovasc Ther. 2013 Dec;20(6):863-7. doi: 10.1583/13-4450MR.1.

3D printing of an aortic aneurysm to facilitate decision making and device selection for endovascular aneurysm repair in complex neck anatomy.

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1 Department of Radiology, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Westcliff on Sea, UK. 2Postgraduate Medical Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.



To describe rapid prototyping or 3-dimensional (3D) printing of aneurysms with complex neck anatomy to facilitate endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).


A 75-year-old man had a 6.6-cm infrarenal aortic aneurysm that appeared on computed tomographic angiography to have a sharp neck angulation of ~90°. However, although the computed tomography (CT) data were analyzed using centerline of flow, the true neck length and relations of the ostial origins were difficult to determine. No multidisciplinary consensus could be reached as to which stent-graft to use owing to these borderline features of the neck anatomy. Based on past experience with rapid prototyping technology, a decision was taken to print a model of the aneurysm to aid in visualization of the neck anatomy. The CT data were segmented, processed, and converted into a stereolithographic format representing the lumen as a 3D volume, from which a full-sized replica was printed within 24 hours. The model demonstrated that the neck was adequate for stent-graft repair using the Aorfix device.


Rapid prototyping of aortic aneurysms is feasible and can aid decision making and device delivery. Further work is required to test the value of 3D replicas in planning procedures and their impact on procedure time, radiation dose, and procedure cost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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