October 14, 2015 – Antenatal Three – Dimensional Printing of Aberrant Facial Anatomy
Congenital airway obstruction poses a life-threatening challenge to the newborn. We present the first case of three-dimensional (3D) modeling and 3D printing of complex fetal maxillofacial anatomy after prenatal ultrasound indicated potential upper airway obstruction from a midline mass of the maxilla. Using fetal MRI and patient-specific computer-aided modeling, the craniofacial anatomy of the fetus was manufactured using a 3D printer. This model demonstrated the mass to be isolated to the upper lip and maxilla, suggesting the oral airway to be patent. The decision was made to deliver the infant without a planned ex utero intrapartum treatment procedure. The neonate was born with a protuberant cleft lip and palate deformity, without airway obstruction, as predicted by the patient-specific model. The delivery was uneventful, and the child was discharged without need for airway intervention. This case demonstrates that 3D modeling may improve prenatal evaluation of complex patient-specific fetal anatomy and facilitate the multidisciplinary approach to perinatal management of complex airway anomalies.