Bone and Joint Institute

Geometric and Volumetric Relationship Between Human Lumbar Vertebra and CT-based Models

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Academic Radiology

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© 2020 The Association of University Radiologists Rationale and Objectives: Crucial to the process of three-dimensional (3D) printing is the knowledge of how the actual structure or organ relates dimensionally to its corresponding medical image. This study will examine the differences between human lumbar vertebrae, 3D scans of these bones, 3D models based on computed tomographic (CT) scans, and 3D-printed models. Materials and Methods: CT scans were obtained for six human lumbar spines. The bones were cleaned, and 3D scanned. 3D mesh models were created from the CT data, and then 3D printed. Four models were analyzed: anatomic bones, 3D-scanned models, CT-models, and 3D-printed models. Manual measurements were performed for all model types, and segmentation metric comparisons were performed comparing the 3D-scanned models to the CT-models. Results: There was no statistical difference between manual measurements when comparing each parameter of all model types, except for vertebral width (p = 0.044). There was no statistical difference when comparing the average of all measurements between all model types (p = 0.247). The mean Hausdorff distance was 0.99 mm (SD 0.55 mm) when comparing 3D-scanned model to CT-model. The mean Dice coefficient was 0.90 (SD 0.07) when comparing 3D-scanned model to CT-model. The mean volume for 3D-scanned model and CT-model were 41.6 ml and 45.9 ml (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusion: This study clarifies the geometric and volumetric relationship between human lumbar vertebra and CT-based vertebral models. Segmentation metrics reveal a 1 mm difference between examined bones (using the 3D-scanned bone as a surrogate), and the CT measurements. This is confirmed by a volumetric difference of 4.3 ml, between the larger CT-based model and the smaller bone.

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