Wulf J, Vitt KD, Erben CM, Bill JS, Busch LC. Medical biomodelling in surgical applications: results of a multicentric European validation of 466 cases. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2003;94:404-6

PMID: 15455935


The study started in September 1999 and ended in April 2002. It is based on a questionnaire [www.phidias.org] assessing case-related questions due to the application of stereolithographic models. Each questionnaire contains over 50 items. These variables take into account diagnosis, indications and benefits of stereolithographic models with view on different steps of the surgical procedures: preoperative planning, intraoperative application and overall outcome after surgical intervervention. These questionnaires were completed by the surgeons who performed operation. Over the time course of our multicentric study (30 months), we evaluated 466 cases. The study population consists of n=231 male and n= 235 female patients. 54 surgeons from 9 European countries were involved. There are main groups of diagnosis that related to the use of a model. Most models were used in maxillofacial surgery. The operative planning may help to determine the resection line of tumor and optimize reconstructive procedures. Correction of large calvarian defects can be simulated and implants can be produced preoperatively. Overall in 58 % of all cases a time- saving effect was reported. The study strongly suggests, that medical modeling has utility in surgical specialities, especially in the craniofacial and maxillofacial area, however increasingly in the orthopedic field. Due to our results, medical modeling optimizes the preoperative surgical planning. Surgeons are enabeled to perform realistic and interactive simulations. The fabrication of implants, its design and fit on the model, allow to reduce operation time and in consequence risk and cost of operation. In addition, the understanging of volumetric data is improved, especially if medical models are combined with standart imaging modalities. Finally, surgeons are able to improve communication between their patientents and colleagues.