Antoine Micheau , Denis Hoa
Monday 11 September 2017Thorax, Abdomen, Pelvis
Images from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project®
This module presents the anatomy of the whole human body based on cross-sectional photographs of a male cadaver. 1300 anatomical structures have been labeled on 463 photographs of axial cross-sections. This atlas is based on the Visible Human Project ran by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) under the direction of Michael J. Ackerman.
The male cadaver is from Joseph Paul Jernigan, a 38-year-old Texas murderer who was executed by lethal injection on August 5, 1993.
The male cadaver was encased and frozen in a mixture of gelatin and water in order to stabilize the specimen for cutting. The specimen was then “cut” in the axial plane at 1 millimetre intervals. Each of the resulting 1,871 “slices” was photographed in both analogue and digital, yielding 15 gigabytes of data.
In order to provide an application designed for the web, we have reduced the number of slices (463) and the images resolution (640X368 pixels). We have also removed the frozen water around the body.
Furthermore, we have chosen to redirect the slices by rotation and horizontal symmetry, in order to give an axis similar to a CT-scan (and not the standard anatomical axis, which reverses the right and left sides). Original pictures show the body in procubitus with a cranial view. The images presented in this module are therefore "false” because we now have to imagine the patient on decubitus, with a caudal view, which does not match the original cut of the body.
Freezing caused the man’s brain to become slightly swollen, and his inner ear ossicles were lost during preparation of the slices.
Small blood vessels were collapsed by the freezing process.
Tendons are difficult to cut cleanly, and they occasionally smear across the slice surfaces.
The male has only one testicle, is missing his appendix, and has tissue deterioration at the lethal injection site. Also visible are tissue damage to the dorsum of each forearm from the formalin injection and damage to the right sartorius and femoral vessels from opening the right femoral vein for drainage. The male was also not "cut" while in anatomical position, so the cuts through his arms are oblique.
The "anatomical" menu displays 20 types of legends which correspond to the 16 chapters of Terminologia Anatomica (we have divided the cardiovascular system into heart, arteries and veins, and the nervous system into central nervous system, peripheral and autonomic):
The Visible Human Project is a fantastic tool that lets you view almost all anatomical structures of the body. For didactic purposes and practice, we have labelled one tenth of the possible structures, so as not to overload the module. We have deliberately set principal names of bones, and summarily labelled the brain, whereas virtually all muscles of the body are listed.
Anatomical legends of the Visible Human Project are available in Latin (Terminologia Anatomica), French, English, Spanish, Czech, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.
The menu "regions" can be achieved in one click - head, neck, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, thighs, legs or feet.