Three-dimensional imaging used for virtual dissection, image banking and physical replication of anatomy and physiology

Susan G. Maclellan-Tobert, Jean Buithieu, Marek Belohlavek, Thomas Behrenbeck, James F. Greenleaf, William D. Edwards, James B. Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Historically, techniques of dissection have been used to aid in our understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology. However, these techniques alter the structures and fine details being studied. New advances in computer technology, imaging equipment, data acquisition, processing, storage, and display now allow multidimensional imaging. Interactive computer programs can electronically display both static three-dimensional and higher- dimensional images that retain features such as motion, pressure, and temporal change. Multidimensional images can be reconstructed and manipulated using different holographic, stereolithographic, or interactive two- dimensional displays. We describe the unique potential of multidimensional reconstruction, virtual dissection, and replication of cardiovascular structures using ultrasound data. Ultrasound technology has the advantage of depicting both anatomy and physiology. The ability to perform virtual dissection and surgery in the living patient without disruption of anatomy or physiology provides the clinician with a powerful new tool for diagnosis, teaching, and therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Echocardiagraphy
  • Three-dimensional imaging
  • Virtual dissection
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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