Simulation of Pediatric Anterior Skull Base Anatomy Using a 3D Printed Model

Nyall R. London, Gustavo G. Rangel, Kyle VanKoevering, Ashley Zhang, Allison R. Powell, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ricardo L. Carrau, Patrick C. Walz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The pediatric skull base may present anatomic challenges to the skull base surgeon, including limited sphenoid pneumatization and a narrow nasal corridor. The rare nature of pediatric skull base pathology makes it difficult to gain experience with these anatomic challenges. The objective of this study was to create a 3-dimensionally (3D) printed model of the pediatric skull base and assess its potential as a training tool. Methods: Twenty-eight participants at various stages of training and practice were included in our study. They completed a pre- and postdissection questionnaire assessing challenges with endoscopic endonasal skeletonization of the carotid arteries and sella face using the 3D printed model. Results: The majority of participants had completed a skull base surgery fellowship (60.7%), were <5 years into practice (60.7%), and had <10 cases of pediatric skull base experience (82.1%). Anticipated challenges included limitation of maneuverability of instruments (71.4%), narrow nasal corridor and nonpneumatized bone (57.1%). On a scale of 0–10, 10 being very difficult, the average participant expected level of difficulty with visualization was 6.89 and expected level of difficulty with instrumentation was 7.3. On postdissection assessment, there was a nonstatistically significant change to 6.93 and 7.5, respectively. Participants endorsed on a scale of 0–10, 10 being very realistic, an overall model realism of 7.0 and haptic realism of 7.1. Conclusions: A 3D printed model of the pediatric skull base may provide a realistic model to help participants gain experience with anatomic limitations characteristic of the pediatric anterior skull base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e405-e410
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • 3D printed model
  • Pediatric skull base
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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