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.
In the 1970s, a 31-year-old woman presented with severe headache and diplopia on a background of having a pigmented skin lesion (diagnosed as an invasive skin melanoma) removed from her neck 8 months earlier. Clinical examination revealed no abnormality and following discharge the patient was later re-admitted with persistent vomiting. Her condition deteriorated and she died.
This specimen demonstrates widespread intracerebral melanoma metastases. The inferior surface is characterized by many elevated dark nodules up to 1.5 cm in diameter. Similar lesions are present on the cut superior surface where it is seen that these secondary melanotic deposits are confined exclusively to the grey matter. The tumor deposits are not encapsulated and are invading the cortex. Some necrosis and hemorrhage are present.
Of all patients who have metastatic disease to the brain, 10% are from skin melanoma. Risk increases with age over 60 years, male gender, disease duration and more advanced tumor/metastatic stage. BRAF and NRAS mutations, expression of CCR4 receptors on tumor cells, and activation of the PI3K pathway are all risk factors for the development of cerebral metastasis. 80% of melanoma brain metastases are supratentorial. Presentation is often with headache, neurologic deficits and/or seizures. Furthermore, these lesions are at risk of spontaneous hemorrhage. Modern diagnosis is based on neuroimaging and often histology of a stereotactic brain biopsy if no previous diagnosis has been made. Treatment includes stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), radiotherapy and/or systemic therapy with checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy or targeted treatments. This has improved median survival up to 11 months in recent years.
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.