3D-printed model effective in building confidence in interventional radiologists

An inexpensive 3D-printed model of blood vessels was shown to provide effective training for medical students in interventional radiology vascular access, according to a study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting.

"We've come up with a viable method for creating something that's inexpensive and also customizable to individual patients," said Alexander Sheu, MD, an interventional and diagnostic radiology resident at Stanford University School of Medicine, and lead author of the study. "The current model used to train medical students lacks the ability to replicate a patient's anatomy. Our 3D-printed model will provide students a more realistic experience, allowing for better preparation before they perform procedures on real patients."

In this study, researchers enrolled 32 medical students were randomized and evaluated for comfort using the 3D model compared to conventional models. Students were instructed to simulate ultrasound-guided access through the femoral artery.

Prior to the simulation, 73 percent of the 3D group and 76 percent of the conventional model group did not feel confident in performing the procedure. After training, 93.3 percent of the 3D model and 94.1 percent of conventional model students agreed their model was easy to use and helpful for practice. Additionally, confidence in performing the procedure increased similarly in both groups.

"Now that we know that a 3D-printed model is just as effective at training medical students in this type of procedure, this simulation experience can be made available to even more trainees and potentially improve procedural skills for residents, fellows, and attendees," said Sheu. "We foresee this really making an impact in the world of interventional radiology training."