Background: The three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has remarkable potential as an auxiliary tool for representing anatomical structures, facilitating diagnosis and therapy, and enhancing training and teaching in the medical field. As the most available diagnostic tool and it is routinely used as the first approach in diagnosis of the uterine anomalies, 3D transvaginal ultrasonography (3D-TVS) has been proposed as non-invasive “gold standard” approach for these malformations due to high diagnostic accuracy. Despite holding promise of manufacturing 3D printed models based on 3D-TVS data, relevant reports about 3D-TVS derived gynecological 3D printing haven’t been reported to the best of our knowledge. We found an opportunity to explore the feasibility of building 3D printed models for the abnormal uterus based on the data acquired by 3D-TVS.
Methods: The women suspected with congenital uterine anomalies (CUAs) were enrolled in the study. The diagnose of CUAs were made by 3D-TVS scanning and further confirmed under the hysteroscopy examination. One volunteer with normal uterus was enrolled as control. All subjects underwent 3D-TVS scanning for 3D printing data collection. Acquired images were stored and extracted as DICOM files, then processed by professional software to portray and model the boundary of the uterine inner and outer walls separately. After the computer 3D models were constructed, the data were saved and output as STL files for further surface restoration and smoothing. The colors of endometrium and uterine body were specified, respectively, in the print preview mode. Then the uncured photosensitive resin was cleaned and polished to obtain a smooth and transparent solid model after printed models were cooled down.
Results: 3D printing models of normal uterus, incomplete septate uterus, complete septate uterus, uterus didelphys and unicornuate uterus were produced on ultrasonographic data of 3D-TVS.
Conclusions: Our research and practice made the first try in modeling CUAs successfully based on ultrasonographic data entirely, verifying that it’s a feasible way to build 3D printed models of high-quality through 3D-TVS scanning.