Validation of computational fluid dynamics methods with anatomically exact, 3D printed MRI phantoms and 4D pcMRI.
A new concept of rapid 3D prototyping was implemented using cost-effective 3D printing for creating anatomically correct replica of cerebral aneurysms. With a dedicated flow loop set-up in a full body human MRI scanner, flow measurements were performed using 4D phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging to visualize and quantify intra-aneurysmal flow patterns. Ultrashort TE sequences were employed to obtain high-resolution 3D image data to visualize the lumen inside the plastic replica. In-vitro results were compared with retrospectively obtained in-vivo data and results from computational fluid dynamics simulations (CFD). Rapid prototyping of anatomically realistic 3D models may have future impact in treatment planning, design of image acquisition methods for MRI and angiographic systems and for the design and testing of advanced image post-processing technologies.