Preoperative simulations of endovascular treatment for a cerebral aneurysm using a patient-specific vascular silicone model

Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2013;53(5):347-51. doi: 10.2176/nmc.53.347.


Silicone models of cerebral aneurysms are used for evaluation of devices, training, or hemodynamic studies. We report preoperative simulations of endovascular treatment for a case with an unruptured wide-neck aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery using a patient-specific silicone model. Using a rapid prototyping system, we created a silicone model based on the vascular image obtained by three-dimensional rotational angiogram. The aneurysm and vessels formed a cavity in the silicone block model. We performed endovascular simulations using several difference devices and attempted possible methods for coil embolization. We designed treatment strategies based on the simulations and performed balloon-assisted coil embolization of the aneurysm. The simulations were especially useful in navigation of a microcatheter by planning the shape of its tip beforehand. There was one significant difference between the silicone model simulations and actual treatment: the shape of the vessel in the silicone block model was not changed by insertion of a catheter or guidewire. This is the first study to describe preoperative endovascular simulations using a patient-specific silicone model. Our methods of creating a patient-specific model are relatively simple and easy. Although this is a single case, we demonstrate that the simulations are feasible and helpful for designing a treatment strategy and safe manipulation of endovascular devices by experiencing their behavior before actual treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Manikins*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Silicones*


  • Silicones