Intraoperative utilization of advanced imaging modalities in a complex kidney stone case: a pilot case study

World J Urol. 2018 May;36(5):733-743. doi: 10.1007/s00345-018-2260-4. Epub 2018 Mar 15.


Purpose: Despite the increasing use of advanced 3D imaging techniques and 3D printing, these techniques have not yet been comprehensively compared in a surgical setting. The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of five different advanced imaging modalities during a complex renal surgical procedure.

Methods: A patient with a horseshoe kidney and multiple large, symptomatic stones that had failed Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) and ureteroscopy treatment was used for this evaluation. CT data were used to generate five different imaging modalities, including a 3D printed model, three different volume rendered models, and a geometric CAD model. A survey was used to evaluate the quality and breadth of the imaging modalities during four different phases of the laparoscopic procedure.

Results: In the case of a complex kidney procedure, the CAD model, 3D print, volume render on an autostereoscopic 3D display, interactive and basic volume render models demonstrated added insight and complemented the surgical procedure. CAD manual segmentation allowed tissue layers and/or kidney stones to be made colorful and semi-transparent, allowing easier navigation through abnormal vasculature. The 3D print allowed for simultaneous visualization of renal pelvis and surrounding vasculature.

Conclusions: Our preliminary exploration indicates that various advanced imaging modalities, when properly utilized and supported during surgery, can be useful in complementing the CT data and laparoscopic display. This study suggests that various imaging modalities, such as ones utilized in this case, can be beneficial intraoperatively depending on the surgical step involved and may be more helpful than 3D printed models. We also present factors to consider when evaluating advanced imaging modalities during complex surgery.

Keywords: 3D printing; 3D reconstruction; Advanced imaging modalities; Kidney surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Fused Kidney* / diagnosis
  • Fused Kidney* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / instrumentation
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Kidney Calculi* / diagnosis
  • Kidney Calculi* / surgery
  • Kidney* / blood supply
  • Kidney* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures* / instrumentation
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures* / methods