The Use of Three-dimensional Visualization Techniques for Prostate Procedures: A Systematic Review


Wang S, Frisbie J, Keepers Z, Bolten Z, Hevaganinge A, Boctor E, et al. The Use of Three-dimensional Visualization Techniques for Prostate Procedures: A Systematic Review. Eur Urol Focus. 2020;

Date Published:

2020 Aug 29


CONTEXT: As an emerging technique, three-dimensional (3D) visualization has become more popular and can facilitate education, training, surgical planning, and intraoperative guidance for prostate cancer surgery. OBJECTIVE: In this review, we aim to present the impact of 3D printing, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) techniques for prostate cancer procedures, specifically prostate biopsy and radical prostatectomy (RP). EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review was performed by two investigators according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) criteria. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 541 papers were identified in PubMed, Scopus, and Embase. Of these, 53 studies were identified for detailed review and 25 were qualified. Two more studies were identified from the references; thus, 27 studies were finally included in this systematic review. Nine papers reported on the use of 3D reconstructed models, mainly in education/training and intraoperative guidance; nine reported on VR, focusing on simulation training model and intraoperative guidance; and nine reported on AR technique with its best indication for surgical guidance in robotic RP. CONCLUSIONS: Three-dimensional visualization techniques have gradually been introduced and developed in prostate procedures, and demonstrate potential utility not only for education/training, but also for surgical planning and intraoperative guidance. Prospective studies are needed to demonstrate clinical utility and validation of these technologies. PATIENT SUMMARY: Despite low-quality evidence, promising signals were identified to demonstrate that three-dimensional visualization could help facilitate prostate procedures, in terms of education/training, surgical planning, and intraoperative guidance. It is still in a very early stage, and more studies need to be conducted to justify its widespread use.