SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • gross anatomy;
  • three-dimensional models;
  • stereoscopic models;
  • anatomical reconstruction;
  • female pelvis;
  • virtual pelvis;
  • reproductive organs;
  • perineum;
  • medical education;
  • teaching tool

Abstract

The anatomy of the pelvis is complex, multilayered, and its three-dimensional organization is conceptually difficult for students to grasp. The aim of this project was to create an explorable and projectable stereoscopic, three-dimensional (3D) model of the female pelvis and pelvic contents for anatomical education. The model was created using cryosection images obtained from the Visible Human Project, in conjunction with a general-purpose three-dimensional segmentation and surface-rendering program. Anatomical areas of interest were identified and labeled on consecutive images. Each 2D slice was reassembled, forming a three-dimensional model. The model includes the pelvic girdle, organs of the pelvic cavity, surrounding musculature, the perineum, neurovascular structures, and the peritoneum. Each structure can be controlled separately (e.g. added, subtracted, made transparent) to reveal organization and/or relationships between structures. The model can be manipulated and/or projected stereoscopically to visualize structures and relationships from different angles with excellent spatial perception. Because of its ease of use and versatility, we expect this model may provide a powerful teaching tool for learning in the classroom or in the laboratory. Anat Sci Educ. © 2010 American Association of Anatomists.