MRI and Additive Manufacturing of Nasal Alar Constructs for Patient-specific Reconstruction

Dafydd O. Visscher*, Maureen Van Eijnatten, Niels P.T.J. Liberton, Jan Wolff, Mark B.M. Hofman, Marco N. Helder, J. Peter W. Don Griot, Paul P.M. Van Zuijlen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Surgical reconstruction of cartilaginous defects remains a major challenge. In the current study, we aimed to identify an imaging strategy for the development of patient-specific constructs that aid in the reconstruction of nasal deformities. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was performed on a human cadaver head to find the optimal MRI sequence for nasal cartilage. This sequence was subsequently used on a volunteer. Images of both were assessed by three independent researchers to determine measurement error and total segmentation time. Three dimensionally (3D) reconstructed alar cartilage was then additively manufactured. Validity was assessed by comparing manually segmented MR images to the gold standard (micro-CT). Manual segmentation allowed delineation of the nasal cartilages. Inter- and intra-observer agreement was acceptable in the cadaver (coefficient of variation 4.6-12.5%), but less in the volunteer (coefficient of variation 0.6-21.9%). Segmentation times did not differ between observers (cadaver P = 0.36; volunteer P = 0.6). The lateral crus of the alar cartilage was consistently identified by all observers, whereas part of the medial crus was consistently missed. This study suggests that MRI is a feasible imaging modality for the development of 3D alar constructs for patient-specific reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10021
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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