MRI of the upper extremity anatomy - atlas of the human body using cross-sectional imaging

Antoine Micheau, MD, Denis Hoa, MD

Published on Sunday 24 August 2008

SECTION: Musculoskeletal anatomy (upper and lower extremities)

Images and anatomical references

We have created an anatomical atlas of the upper limb which is an interactive tool for studying the conventional anatomy of the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist and hand based on an axial magnetic resonance of the entire upper limb. Anatomical structures and particular regions are visible as dynamic labelled images.


Atlas of human anatomy : cross-sectional anatomy of the upper limb - Shoulder, arm, bend, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.


Cross sectional anatomy: MRI of the upper limb

An MRI was performed on a healthy subject with a spin-echo T1 weighted acquisition.
Data and DICOM images (archived on a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating System)) were processed and exported as JPEG images. Adobe Flash and Adobe Photoshop allowed us to develop an atlas-based application with suitable functionality and user interface for exploration of the skeleton anatomy.
Anatomical structures are labelled using the actual Terminologia Anatomica.


Anatomy of the upper limb : axial slice of the shouler and axillary fossa.


Anatomy of the arm, forearm, wrist, shoulder and hand: how to visualize anatomic labels

This module is a comprehensive and affordable learning tool for medical students and residents and especially for rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons and radiologists.
It provides access to an atlas and to images in the axial planes, allowing the user to learn and review orthopaedic anatomy interactively. Images are labelled, providing an invaluable teaching resource. The test mode allows comprehensive evaluation of user progress.

The horizontal menu gives access to groups of anatomical structures that can be chosen by the user:

  • Arteries
  • Veins
  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Bones
  • Nerves
  • Ligaments


Cross sectional anatomy of the upper limb : arm wtih muscles (brachioradialis, brachialis, biceps brachii, triceps brachii), brachial artery, humerus, nerves (ulnar, radial, musulocutaneous nerve)


As the cursor is moved over a particular compartment of the arm or forearm, that compartment is highlighted and labelled: anterior, lateral or posterior compartment.

The vertical left menu provides a medical illustration of an upper limb skeleton based on a three dimensional (3D) model that simplifies the access to the anatomical regions.


Human anatomy of the bend : bones (capitulum, trochlea, medial and lateral epicondyle, olecranon), common extensor and flexor tendon, nerves (radial, median , ulnar), cephalic and basilic veins...


Anatomy of the forearm with cross-sectional anatomical structures labeled as muscles (pronator teres, flexor carpi radialis, brachioradilas, flexor capri ulnaris, supinator) and ulnara and radial arteries.


Wrist : cross-sectional anatomy based on axial slices showing tendos, nerves (ulnar, radial and median), arteries (ulnar and radial), bones (radius, ulna) and veins (cephalic, basilic, deep veins)


Anatomy of the hand : axial slice of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) wtith anatomical structures labeled.

Anatomical parts

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