Developed from real patient case study specimens, the 3D printed anatomy model pathology series introduces an unmatched level of realism in human anatomy models. Each 3D printed anatomy model is a high-fidelity replica of a human cadaveric specimen, focusing on the key morbidity presentations that led to the deceasement of the patient. With advances in 3D printing materials and techniques, these stories can come to life in an ethical, consistently reproduceable, and easy to handle format. Ideal for the most advanced anatomical and pathological study, and backed by authentic case study details, students, instructors, and experts alike will discover a new level of anatomical study with the 3D printed anatomy model pathology series.
A 72-year old female presented with colicky flank pain and increasing malaise. Intermittent hematuria was noted. Biochemical investigations reveal significantly impaired renal function. CT abdomen showed congenital renal agenesis of the left kidney and a right-sided hydronephrosis and hydroureter, due to obstruction by a smaller calculus. Percutaneous lithotomy was attempted to relieve the obstruction, but the patient died of a cardiac event during the procedure.
The specimen is patient's right kidney, which is grossly and partially bisected. There is gross dilatation of the pelvi-calyceal system visible and significant atrophy of renal tissue particularly in the cortex. There is a large brown calculus visible in the renal pelvis at the ureteropelvic junction.
Urolithiasis (renal calculi) is a very common disease affecting up to 1 in 10 individuals during their lifetime. Formation of the stones can occur anywhere along the urinary tract but most commonly occurs within the kidneys. Risk factors for stone formation include male gender; any condition that affects the composition of the urine, such as hypercalciuria or high urine oxalate; systemic metabolic disorders, such as cystinuria and gout; dietary factors, such as high oxalate and animal protein intake, low fluid intake; and environmental factors, such as high dry temperatures. 80% of renal calculi are unilateral.
Symptoms of urolithiasis include excruciating pain, hematuria, nausea, vomiting, fainting, dysuria and urgency. Symptoms depend on the size and the site of the calculus. Urolithiasis can be asymptomatic especially if the stones are formed and remain within the renal pelvis or bladder. Symptoms occur when the stones move into the ureter. Pain from calculi is usually colicky and typically severe in nature; occurring in paroxysms. The flank is the most common site for pain but pain can occur anywhere along the urinary tract and into the genitals. Pain resolves on passage of the stone. Hematuria can be gross or microscopic.
Diagnosis can be made based on the medical history and examination. Radiological tools frequently used to assist diagnosis include non-contrast CT or ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder. Less commonly used imaging methods include abdominal X-ray, intravenous pyelogram and magnetic resonance imaging.
If left untreated renal damage and ultimately renal failure from progressive obstruction and hydronephrosis will occur. If the obstructing calculus is not relieved it will cause pressure to build up proximal to the obstruction. This pressure is transmitted back through the collecting ducts to the cortex causing progressive atrophy of the renal parenchyma with dilatation of the renal calyces and pelvis. The pressure also compresses vasculature in the medulla leading to ischemic medullary damage. Glomerular filtration persists in the affected kidney until late in the disease process when it will gradually diminish. Obstruction triggers an interstitial inflammatory process leading to fibrosis. Renal calculi also predispose patients to infection secondary to obstruction and the trauma that they cause to the urothelium.
Treatment in acute patients include supportive treatment to allow the passage of the stone. Medical treatment used includes analgesia, commonly NSAIDs and opiates, and agents to aid passage of the stone, such as alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers and antispasmodics. Surgical intervention may
be required if there are severe complications due to calculi or if the stone is large and unable to be expelled with conservative treatment. Surgical interventions include lithotripsy (using lasers or electricity), laparoscopic stone removal or percutaneous stone removal. Open surgery is rarely required.
Advantages of 3D Printed Anatomical Models
- 3D printed anatomical models are the most anatomically accurate examples of human anatomy because they are based on real human specimens.
- Avoid the ethical complications and complex handling, storage, and documentation requirements with 3D printed models when compared to human cadaveric specimens.
- 3D printed anatomy models are far less expensive than real human cadaveric specimens.
- Reproducibility and consistency allow for standardization of education and faster availability of models when you need them.
- Customization options are available for specific applications or educational needs. Enlargement, highlighting of specific anatomical structures, cutaway views, and more are just some of the customizations available.
Disadvantages of Human Cadavers
- Access to cadavers can be problematic and ethical complications are hard to avoid. Many countries cannot access cadavers for cultural and religious reasons.
- Human cadavers are costly to procure and require expensive storage facilities and dedicated staff to maintain them. Maintenance of the facility alone is costly.
- The cost to develop a cadaver lab or plastination technique is extremely high. Those funds could purchase hundreds of easy to handle, realistic 3D printed anatomical replicas.
- Wet specimens cannot be used in uncertified labs. Certification is expensive and time-consuming.
- Exposure to preservation fluids and chemicals is known to cause long-term health problems for lab workers and students. 3D printed anatomical replicas are safe to handle without any special equipment.
- Lack of reuse and reproducibility. If a dissection mistake is made, a new specimen has to be used and students have to start all over again.
Disadvantages of Plastinated Specimens
- Like real human cadaveric specimens, plastinated models are extremely expensive.
- Plastinated specimens still require real human samples and pose the same ethical issues as real human cadavers.
- The plastination process is extensive and takes months or longer to complete. 3D printed human anatomical models are available in a fraction of the time.
- Plastinated models, like human cadavers, are one of a kind and can only showcase one presentation of human anatomy.
Advanced 3D Printing Techniques for Superior Results
- Vibrant color offering with 10 million colors
- UV-curable inkjet printing
- High quality 3D printing that can create products that are delicate, extremely precise, and incredibly realistic
- To improve durability of fragile, thin, and delicate arteries, veins or vessels, a clear support material is printed in key areas. This makes the models robust so they can be handled by students easily.