3D printed renal cancer models derived from MRI data: application in pre-surgical planning

Nicole Wake, Temitope Rude, Stella K. Kang, Michael D. Stifelman, James F. Borin, Daniel K. Sodickson, William C. Huang, Hersh Chandarana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether patient-specific 3D printed renal tumor models change pre-operative planning decisions made by urological surgeons in preparation for complex renal mass surgical procedures. Materials and methods: From our ongoing IRB approved study on renal neoplasms, ten renal mass cases were retrospectively selected based on Nephrometry Score greater than 5 (range 6–10). A 3D post-contrast fat-suppressed gradient-echo T1-weighted sequence was used to generate 3D printed models. The cases were evaluated by three experienced urologic oncology surgeons in a randomized fashion using (1) imaging data on PACS alone and (2) 3D printed model in addition to the imaging data. A questionnaire regarding surgical approach and planning was administered. The presumed pre-operative approaches with and without the model were compared. Any change between the presumed approaches and the actual surgical intervention was recorded. Results: There was a change in planned approach with the 3D printed model for all ten cases with the largest impact seen regarding decisions on transperitoneal or retroperitoneal approach and clamping, with changes seen in 30%–50% of cases. Mean parenchymal volume loss for the operated kidney was 21.4%. Volume losses >20% were associated with increased ischemia times and surgeons tended to report a different approach with the use of the 3D model compared to that with imaging alone in these cases. The 3D printed models helped increase confidence regarding the chosen operative procedure in all cases. Conclusions: Pre-operative physical 3D models created from MRI data may influence surgical planning for complex kidney cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1509
Number of pages9
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • 3D printing
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Surgical planning
  • Urological oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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