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Br J Neurosurg. 2018 Jan 15:1-4. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2018.1424320. [Epub ahead of print]

Development of three-dimensional brain arteriovenous malformation model for patient communication and young neurosurgeon education.

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a Shantou University Medical College , Shantou , Guangdong Province , China.
b Department of Neurosurgery , Guangdong General Hospital, Institute of Neuroscience, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences , Guangzhou , Guangdong Province , China.
c Southern Medical University , Guangzhou , Guangdong Province , China.



Rapid prototyping technology is used to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) models and facilitate presurgical patient communication and medical education for young surgeons.


Two intracranial AVM cases were selected for this study. Using 3D CT angiography or 3D rotational angiography images, the brain AVM models were reconstructed on personal computer and the rapid prototyping process was completed using a 3D printer. The size and morphology of the models were compared to brain digital subtraction arteriography of the same patients. 3D brain AVM models were used for preoperative patient communication and young neurosurgeon education.


Two brain AVM models were successfully produced. By neurosurgeons' evaluation, the printed models have high fidelity with the actual brain AVM structures of the patients. The patient responded positively toward the brain AVM model specific to himself. Twenty surgical residents from residency programs tested the brain AVM models and provided positive feedback on their usefulness as educational tool and resemblance to real brain AVM structures.


Patient-specific 3D printed models of brain AVM can be constructed with high fidelity. 3D printed brain AVM models are proved to be helpful in preoperative patient consultation, surgical planning and resident training.


3D printing; brain arteriovenous malformation; medical education; patient communication

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