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.
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