Anatomy of the heart (coronary CT) - interactive atlas of the human body using cross-sectional imaging



Antoine Micheau , Denis Hoa

Published on

Wednesday 13 December 2017


Thorax, Abdomen, Pelvis

Anatomical parts

Knowledge of coronary artery anatomy is important for the study and development of CT of the heart.
In this interactive atlas of the human heart anatomy, anatomical structures are visible on a contrast material–enhanced computed tomography (CT) of the heart and coronary arteries.
Actually, CT coronary angiography with three-dimensional volume-rendered and multiplanar images displays arterial anatomy similarly to conventional angiography and is becoming a major tool for the study of coronary artery disease (CAD)



Cross sectional anatomy: Multi–Detector Row CT (MDCT) of the human heart

A cardiac contrast material–enhanced computed tomography (CT – 64 detectors) was performed on a healthy subject. In order to obtain nearly motion-free images, acquisition or reconstruction of data was performed during diastole (70%).
The images are reconstructed by using a medium soft-tissue kernel with retrospective ECG gating with 0.75-mm-thick sections. Images were reformatted to obtain the usual planes used in cardiac imaging (Ultrasound, MRI): axial, short axis, vertical long axis, horizontal long axis.
DICOM data archived on a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating System) were exported as JPEG images and then post-processed with Adobe Photoshop. Suitable functionality and user interface for the study of the cardiac anatomy has been developed with Adobe Flash software.
Anatomical structures were labelled according to the actual Terminologia Anatomica.


Anatomy of the heart : axial slice with chambers, myocardium, pericardium, left and right coronary arteries and other structures labeled.

Anatomy of the heart : axial slice with chambers, myocardium, pericardium, left and right coronary arteries and other structures labeled.


Anatomy of the human heart and coronaries: how to visualize anatomic structures

This tool provides access to an MDCT atlas in the 4 usual planes, allowing the user to interactively discover heart anatomy. Images are labelled, providing an invaluable medical and anatomical tool. The test mode allows instant evaluation of user progress.

The superior horizontal menu bar provides the groups of anatomic labels that the user needs to use (“Anatomical Structures”):

  • Morphology – pericardium
  • Myocardium – fibrous structures
  • Left cavities
  • Right cavities
  • Valves: aortic, mitral tricuspid and pulmonary valves
  • Left coronary artery
  • Right coronary artery
  • Veins
  • Conduction system
  • ECG territories
  • Heart segmentation (Cerqueira et al. 2002 – AHA - AHC)
  • Mediastium vessels such as aorta, pulmonary arteries and veins, superior vena cava.


The “planes” menu allows the user to choose one of the 4 usual planes used for cardiac imaging:

  • Axial
  • Horizontal long axis
  • Vertical long axis
  • Short axis








These planes may be chosen directly through the left vertical menu.

To the top of this vertical menu, medical illustrations based on a 3D model and a volume rendering of the heart and the four main coronary arteries (RCA, left main artery, LAD artery, and LCX artery) help the user to understand the Anatomy of the Heart and Great Vessels on MDCT.
As the cursor is moved over a particular anatomic area of the heart, the user is able to discover the links between myocardial vascular territories and electrocardiogram (ECG).

This module has been designed for radiologists, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, medical students and residents.



Download e-Anatomy

Mobile and tablet users, you can download e-Anatomy on Appstore or GooglePlay.

e-Anatomy on Appstore e-Anatomy on Googleplay