Software for Designing Custom Orbital-Craniofacial Implant Plans
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Purpose: Custom cranio-orbital implants have been shown to achieve better performance than their hand-shaped counterparts by restoring skull anatomy more accurately and by reducing surgery time. Designing a custom implant involves reconstructing a model of the patient's skull using their computed tomography (CT) scan. The healthy side of the skull model, contralateral to the damaged region, can then be used to design an implant plan. Designing implants for areas of thin bone, such as the orbits, is challenging due to poor CT resolution of bone structures. This makes preoperative design time-intensive since thin bone structures in CT data must be manually segmented. The objective of this thesis was to research methods to accurately and efficiently design cranio-orbital implant plans, with a focus on the orbits, and to develop software that integrates these methods. Methods: The software consists of modules that use image and surface restoration approaches to enhance both the quality of CT data and the reconstructed model. It enables users to input CT data, and use tools to output a skull model with restored anatomy. The skull model can then be used to design the implant plan. The software was designed using 3D Slicer, an open-source medical visualization platform. It was tested on CT data from thirteen patients. Results: The average time it took to create a skull model with restored anatomy using our software was 0.33 hours ± 0.04 STD. In comparison, the design time of the manual segmentation method took between 3 and 6 hours. To assess the structural accuracy of the reconstructed models, CT data from the thirteen patients was used to compare the models created using our software with those using the manual method. When registering the skull models together, the difference between each set of skulls was found to be 0.4 mm ± 0.16 STD. Conclusions: We have developed a software to design custom cranio-orbital implant plans, with a focus on thin bone structures. The method described decreases design time, and is of similar accuracy to the manual method.