A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of 3-D Printed Models of Aortic Aneurysms on Management Decisions in EVAR Planning

Matthew D Tam, Tom R Latham, Mark Lewis, Kunal Khanna, Ali Zaman, Mike Parker, Iris Q Grunwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms with difficult anatomy is challenging. There is no consensus for planning such procedures.

METHODS: Six cases of aortic aneurysms with challenging anatomical features, such as short, angulated, and conical necks and tortuous iliacs were harvested. The computed tomography (CT) scans were anonymized. Lifesize 3-dimensional (3-D) printed models were created of the lumen. Endovascular operators were asked to review the CT angiography (CTA), make a management plan, and give an indication of their confidence. They were then presented with the equivalent model and asked to review their decision. Their attitudes to such models were briefly surveyed.

RESULTS: A total of 28 endovascular operators reviewed 144 cases. After review of the physical model, the management plan changed in 29 (20.1%) of 144 cases. Initial plan after CTA review was endovascular 73.6%, open repair 22.9%, and second opinion 3.5%. After model review, this became endovascular 67.4%, open repair 19.4%, and second opinion 4.8%. Although the general trend was toward more open procedures, off-label techniques reduced from 19.4% to 15.2% following model review. When the management plan did not change, level of confidence did increase in 37 (43.5%) of 85 cases. The majority of operators stated that they would find models useful for planning in some procedures. For 1 case, the change in the percentage of participants being sure in the management plan was statistically significant (P = .031).

CONCLUSION: The 3-D printed models may be potentially useful in planning cases with EVAR. It is a paradigm that warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal/diagnostic imaging
  • Aortography/methods
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation/adverse effects
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Endovascular Procedures/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Patient Selection
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted


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