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Comparative Study
. 2019 Jun;107(6):1860-1865.
doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.01.045. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

3D Models in the Diagnosis of Subglottic Airway Stenosis

Comparative Study

3D Models in the Diagnosis of Subglottic Airway Stenosis

Konrad Hoetzenecker et al. Ann Thorac Surg. .


Purpose: Preoperative assessment of benign subglottic stenosis is usually performed by endoscopy and a computed tomography scan. Both diagnostic modalities have relevant limitations and sometimes an accurate assessment of the extent of disease is challenging.

Description: Based on computed tomography scans of benign glotto-subglottic stenosis and a control airway, color-coded three-dimensional (3D) models were produced using a commercially available 3D printer. The diagnostic relevance of 3D models was tested by means of a quiz.

Evaluation: 52 thoracic surgeons from 4 North American and 1 European institution with different levels of experience in airway surgery were invited to test the diagnostic accuracy of 3D models against endoscopy films and computed tomography scans. 3D models were found to be superior to the other two diagnostic tools in terms of grading the extent of the stenosis and selecting the correct surgical strategy. The group of residents benefited the most from the 3D models.

Conclusions: 3D models of complex glotto-subglottic airway stenosis are a useful supplement of the preoperative assessment. In addition, they can serve as a teaching tool for residents and fellows.

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