ACR, RSNA collaborate on ‘landmark’ medical 3D printing registry

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) are teaming up to create a medical 3D printing clinical data registry to demonstrate the growing value of the printing technology.

According to an RSNA release, the registry will collect 3D printing data at the point of clinical care, and a joint ACR-RSNA committee will oversee the registry on track to begin this fall.

"The creation of the joint RSNA-ACR 3D Printing Registry is essential for the advancement of clinical 3D printing,” said William Weadock, MD, professor of radiology at the University of Michigan and chair of the RSNA 3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG), in the release. “The registry will allow us to collect data in support of the appropriate use of this technology and its value in clinical decision making, and this collaboration between RSNA and ACR shows the importance of 3D printing to radiology.”

Proving the clinical value of 3D printing has been somewhat challenging due to the “rich diversity of clinical indications,” the varying technologies for printing physical models from medical scans and the inherent complex nature of such models, according to the release.

This registry hopes to bolster such evidence alongside the release of four new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for the 3D printing of anatomic models and guides.

"Medical models and surgical guides have been 3D printed for well over a decade, as niche applications — and without CPT codes. For example, craniomaxillofacial care providers generally accept that 3D printing is valuable and integral to patient care," said Frank Rybicki, MD, PhD, chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria and founding chair of the RSNA SIG. "However, when applying for CPT codes, it became clear that this 'general acceptance' lacked peer-reviewed literature to demonstrate value. This registry will supply data to benchmark the value of this subspecialty."