Research Article: Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 3D printing Special Interest Group (SIG): guidelines for medical 3D printing and appropriateness for clinical scenarios

Date Published: November 21, 2018

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Author(s): Leonid Chepelev, Nicole Wake, Justin Ryan, Waleed Althobaity, Ashish Gupta, Elsa Arribas, Lumarie Santiago, David H Ballard, Kenneth C Wang, William Weadock, Ciprian N Ionita, Dimitrios Mitsouras, Jonathan Morris, Jane Matsumoto, Andy Christensen, Peter Liacouras, Frank J Rybicki, Adnan Sheikh.


Medical three-dimensional (3D) printing has expanded dramatically over the past three decades with growth in both facility adoption and the variety of medical applications. Consideration for each step required to create accurate 3D printed models from medical imaging data impacts patient care and management. In this paper, a writing group representing the Radiological Society of North America Special Interest Group on 3D Printing (SIG) provides recommendations that have been vetted and voted on by the SIG active membership. This body of work includes appropriate clinical use of anatomic models 3D printed for diagnostic use in the care of patients with specific medical conditions. The recommendations provide guidance for approaches and tools in medical 3D printing, from image acquisition, segmentation of the desired anatomy intended for 3D printing, creation of a 3D-printable model, and post-processing of 3D printed anatomic models for patient care.

Partial Text

In 2016, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) approved a proposal to create the Special Interest Group on 3D Printing (SIG). This document fulfills two of the original SIG goals: to provide recommendations towards consistent and safe production of 3D printed models derived from medical images, and to describe a set of clinical scenarios for 3D printing is appropriate for the intended use of caring for patients with those medical conditions. This project also fills a previously unmet need for practice parameters/guidelines regarding the clinical service of anatomic modeling (3D Printing) described for proposed new billing codes, including those for the American Medical Association. These practice parameters and recommendations are not intended as comprehensive standards but do reflect several salient aspects of clinical anatomic modeling and appropriateness. The guidelines subcommittee of the SIG will maintain and devote the time and effort necessary to continually develop and update these recommendations. This subcommittee is comprised of volunteer members of the SIG who form the writing group of this document.

Reviews that include the types of 3D printers commonly used in medicine have been published [563, 584]. Regarding image post-processing and software, several tutorials are available for step-by-step training. The following discussion includes the specific descriptions from the SIG writing group for each clinical group of clinical scenarios considered for appropriateness.

3D printing will play an increasingly important role in enabling precision medicine. This document addresses the clinical scenarios where pathology complexity necessitates a transformation of clinical imaging data into a physical model. Adoption of common clinical standards regarding appropriate use, information and material management, and quality control are needed to ensure the greatest possible clinical benefit from3D printing.




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