Human Inner-ear Malformation Types Captured in 3D

J Int Adv Otol. 2019 Apr;15(1):77-82. doi: 10.5152/iao.2019.6246.


Objectives: Capture the human inner-ear malformation types in 3D by segmenting the inner-ear structures from clinical CT (computed tomography) and MR (magnetic resonance) image datasets. Volumetric analysis was done to find the variations in the volume of cochlear part alone from complete inner-ear followed by 3D printing from the 3D segmented models.

Materials and methods: Using 3D slicer freeware, the complete inner-ear structures were segmented from anonymized CT and MR image by setting a tight grey-scale threshold to avoid capturing unwanted structures followed by volumetric analysis of the cochlear part alone. 3D printing was done using Form labs desktop 3D printer.

Results: We identified 2x normal anatomy (NA) cochlea, 1x enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome (EVAS), 3x incomplete partition (IP) type-I, 4x IP type-II, 3x IP type-III, 5x common cavity (CC) and 5x cochlear hypoplasia (CH). 3D segmented models along with the 3D printed models showed huge variation in size, shape and the anatomy among the image data-sets analyzed. Volumetric analysis showed that on average, volume of CC was above 150mm3, volume of CH fell below 80mm3, Volume of NA, EVAS and IP-I were all around 85-105mm3 whereas the volume of IP-II was around 50mm3.

Conclusion: Visualizing human inner-ear malformation types in 3D both as computer models and as 3D printed models is a whole-new experience as demonstrated in this study. The volumetric analysis showed a huge variation among the volume of cochlear part alone among the malformation types.

MeSH terms

  • Cochlea / abnormalities*
  • Cochlea / diagnostic imaging
  • Computer Simulation
  • Ear, Inner / abnormalities*
  • Ear, Inner / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnostic imaging
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Vestibular Aqueduct / abnormalities
  • Vestibular Aqueduct / diagnostic imaging
  • Vestibular Aqueduct / pathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Deafness, Autosomal Recessive 4