Three-Dimensional Printing of the Nasal Cavities for Clinical Experiments

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3D printing has produced many beneficial applications for surgery. The technique´s applicability in replicating nasal cavity anatomy for clinical use has not been studied. Our aim was to determine whether 3D printing could realistically replicate the nasal cavities and the airflow passing through them from a clinical point of view. We included Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scans of five patients with symptoms of chronic nasal congestion. These CBCT scans were used to print plastic 3D prints of the nasal cavities, which were also CBCT scanned and the measurements were compared. The results in vivo were higher than the results in vitro in maxillary sinus volumes with a ratio of 1.05 ± 0.01 (mean ± SD) and in the nasal cavities with a ratio of 1.20 ± 0.1 (mean ± SD). Linear measurements in vitro were very close to those in vivo. Rhinomanometric results showed some differences, but rhinomanometric graphs in vitro were close to the graphs in vivo. 3D printing proved to be a suitable and fast method for replicating nasal cavity structures and for the experimental testing of nasal function. It can be used as a complementary examination tool for rhinomanometry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number502
Pages (from-to)502
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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