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3-D printing model used to streamline surgical procedures for an intricate condition of airway compression caused by devastating mediastinal chondrosarcoma: a case report

  • Shai, Sen-Ei1, 2
  • Lai, Yi-Ling1
  • Li, Hsin-Ni1
  • Hung, Shih-Chieh2, 3
  • 1 Taichung Veterans General Hospital, 1650 Taiwan Boulevard Sect. 4, Taichung, Taiwan , Taichung (Taiwan)
  • 2 National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan , Taipei (Taiwan)
  • 3 China Medical University Hospital, Taichung Joint PI, IBMS, Academia Sinica 7F, No. 6, Xueshi Rd., North Dist., Taichung City, 404, Taiwan , Taichung City (Taiwan)
Published Article
Journal of Medical Case Reports
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 19, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13256-019-2312-4
Springer Nature


BackgroundThe condition of mediastinal chondrosarcoma causing severe airway compression has never been reported before, and its complexity makes its surgical management challenging. We implemented two new techniques to overcome this problem. Creative mockup analogy of a distorted trachea and tumor lesion using a 3-D printing module, with reprogramming by computed tomography, streamlined the panorama with intricate correlation.Case presentationOur patient was a previously healthy 52-year-old slender yellow man who had no obvious medical history. In the last 3 years, upper respiratory tract infection and productive cough were noted frequently, and the patient’s symptoms were aggravated with shortness of breath when his head was positioned below 90 degrees during squatting and hunching of the body. The patient manifested prone sleep with ashen complexion, and he had lost 3–4 kg of body weight over the 3 weeks before admission to our hospital. Virtual bronchoscopy with computed tomography revealed an 8.3 × 7.5 × 4-cm lobulated right upper mediastinal mass with amorphous calcification and severe, intricate airway compression. A creative mockup analogy module of the distorted trachea and tumor was generated by 3-D printing and reprogrammed by computed tomography to streamline the sophisticated correlation. The patient underwent a two-stage operation comprising stabilization of the airway for innovative T-tube insertion preceded by thoracoscopy-assisted radical removal of the tumor. Postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy was administered. The patient recovered uneventfully and stayed healthy for 2 solid years in follow-up.ConclusionsAn advanced 3-D printing model provides affirmative information related to treatment strategy and is also a prospective tool for better doctor–patient communication regarding the disease.

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