Three-dimensional printing (3DP) addresses distinct clinical challenges in pediatric care including: congenital variants, compact anatomy, high procedural risk, and growth over time. We hypothesized that patient-specific applications of 3DP in pediatrics could be categorized into concise, discrete categories of use.
Terms related to “three-dimensional printing” and “pediatrics” were searched on PubMed, Scopus, Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL, and Web of Science. Initial search yielded 2122 unique articles; 139 articles characterizing 508 patients met full inclusion criteria.
Four categories of patient-specific 3DP applications were identified: Teaching of families and medical staff (9.3%); Developing intervention strategies (33.9%); Procedural applications, including subtypes: contour models, guides, splints, and implants (43.0%); and Material manufacturing of shaping devices or prosthetics (14.0%). Procedural comparative studies found 3DP devices to be equivalent or better than conventional methods, with less operating time and fewer complications.
Patient-specific applications of Three-Dimensional Printing in Medicine can be elegantly classified into four major categories: Teaching, Developing, Procedures, and Materials, sharing the same TDPM acronym. Understanding this schema is important because it promotes further innovation and increased implementation of these devices to improve pediatric care.
This article classifies the pediatric applications of patient-specific three-dimensional printing.This is a first comprehensive review of patient-specific three-dimensional printing in both pediatric medical and surgical disciplines, incorporating previously described classification schema to create one unifying paradigm.Understanding these applications is important since three-dimensional printing addresses challenges that are uniquely pediatric including compact anatomy, unique congenital variants, greater procedural risk, and growth over time.We identified four classifications of patient-specific use: teaching, developing, procedural, and material uses.By classifying these applications, this review promotes understanding and incorporation of this expanding technology to improve the pediatric care.