Three-Dimensional (3D) Printed Vestibular Schwannoma for Facial Nerve Tractography Validation.
Predicting the course of cranial nerve (CN) VII in the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) on preoperative imaging for vestibular schwannoma (VS) may help guide surgical resection and reduce complications. Diffusion MRI based tractography has been used to identify cranial nerve trajectory, but intraoperative validation of this novel approach is challenging. Currently, validation is based on operative report descriptions of the course of cranial nerves, but yields a simplified picture of the three-dimensional (3D) course of CN VII. In this study, we investigate the accuracy of tractography with detailed patient-specific 3D-printed VS tumors.Retrospective case review.Tertiary referral center.Twenty adult VS surgical candidates.We compared tractography with intraoperative 3D course of CN VII. The surgeons were blinded to tractography and drew the intraoperative course of the CN VII on a patient specific 3D-printed tumor model for detailed comparison with tractography.Of 20 patients, one was excluded due to subtotal removal and inability to assess CN VII course. In the remaining 19 patients, 84% (16/19) tractography was successful. In 94% of tumors with tractography (15/16), the intraoperative description of CN VII course matched the tractography finding. The maximum distance, however, between tractography and intraoperative course of CN VII was 3.7 mm ± 4.2 mm.This study presents a novel approach to CN VII tractography validation in VS. Although descriptions of CN VII intraoperatively match tractography, caution is warranted as quantitative measures suggest a clinically significant distance between tractography and CN VII course.