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Keywords:

  • 3D Computer model;
  • anatomic modeling;
  • anatomy;
  • muscle

Advances in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and three-dimensional (3D) modeling software provide the tools necessary to create sophisticated, interactive anatomic resources that can assist in the interpretation of MR images of extremities, and learning the structure and function of limb musculature. Modeling provides advantages over dissection or consultation of print atlases because of the associated speed, flexibility, 3D nature, and elimination of superimposed arrows and labels. Our goals were to create a diagnostic atlas of pelvic limb muscles that will facilitate interpretation of MR images of patients with muscle injury and to create a 3D model of the canine pelvic limb musculature to facilitate anatomic learning. To create these resources, we used structural segmentation of MR images, a process that groups image pixels into anatomically meaningful regions. The Diagnostic Atlas is an interactive, multiplanar, web-based MR atlas of the canine pelvic limb musculature that was created by manually segmenting clinically analogous MR sequences. Higher resolution volumetric MR and computed tomography (CT) data were segmented into separately labeled volumes of data and then transformed into a multilayered 3D computer model. The 3D Model serves as a resource for students of gross anatomy, encouraging integrative learning with its highly interactive and selective display capabilities. For clinicians, the 3D Model also serves to bridge the gap between topographic and tomographic anatomy, displaying both formats alongside, or even superimposed over each other. Both projects are hosted on an open-access website, http://3dvetanatomy.ncsu.edu/