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Original research
Microcatheter shaping using three-dimensional printed models for intracranial aneurysm coiling
  1. Y Xu1,
  2. W Tian1,
  3. Z Wei1,
  4. Y Li1,
  5. X Gao2,
  6. W Li1,
  7. B Dong1
  1. 1 Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China
  2. 2 General Hospital of Northern Theater Command, Shenyang, China
  1. Correspondence to Profess W Li and Dr B Dong, Dalian 116011, China; 64039942{at}, stocktondb{at}


Background and purpose Microcatheterization is an important, but also difficult, technique used for the embolization of intracranial aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the application of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology in microcatheter shaping.

Methods Nine cases of internal carotid artery posterior communicating artery aneurysm diagnosed by CT angiography were selected, and 3D printing technology was used to build a 3D model including the aneurysm and the parent artery. The hollow and translucent model had certain flexibility; it was immersed in water and the microcatheter was introduced into the water to the target position in the aneurysm, followed by heating the water temperature to 50°C. After soaking for 5 min, the microcatheter was taken out and the shaping was completed. After sterilization, the shaped microcatheter was used for arterial aneurysm embolization and evaluation was conducted.

Results Nine cases of microcatheter shaping were satisfactory and shaping the needle was not necessary; no rebound was observed. The microcatheter was placed in an ideal position, and the stent-assisted method was used in three cases of wide-neck aneurysm. There were no complications related to surgery.

Conclusion A new microcatheter shaping method using 3D printing technology makes intracranial artery aneurysm embolization more stable and efficient.

  • aneurysm
  • brain
  • catheter
  • coil

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  • YX and WT contributed equally.

  • WL and BD contributed equally.

  • Contributors YX, WT, ZW, YL, XG, BD and WL : designed and performed the experiments, analyzed and processed the data, drafted the manuscript. WT, ZW and YL: contributed to document collection, software processing, preparation of the 3D aneurysm model, disinfection and other preoperative preparations. BD and WL: participated in the surgery, revised the manuscript. YX and XG: participated in the surgery and the intraoperative evaluation.

  • Funding This work was supported by Dalian Municipal Science and Technology Plan [Grant number: 2015E12SF165], and supported by 81672968 National Natural Science Foundation of China.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement For access to the raw images obtained in this study, please contact the corresponding author.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it appeared Online First. Funding has been added to the paper as follows "supported by 81672968 National Natural Science Foundation of China".

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.