Web-based interactive 3D visualization as a tool for improved anatomy learning.Anat Sci Educ. 2009 Mar-Apr; 2(2):61-8.AS
Despite a long tradition, conventional anatomy education based on dissection is declining. This study tested a new virtual reality (VR) technique for anatomy learning based on virtual contrast injection. The aim was to assess whether students value this new three-dimensional (3D) visualization method as a learning tool and what value they gain from its use in reaching their anatomical learning objectives. Several 3D vascular VR models were created using an interactive segmentation tool based on the "virtual contrast injection" method. This method allows users, with relative ease, to convert computer tomography or magnetic resonance images into vivid 3D VR movies using the OsiriX software equipped with the CMIV CTA plug-in. Once created using the segmentation tool, the image series were exported in Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) format and integrated within a web framework of the Educational Virtual Anatomy (EVA) program. A total of nine QTVR movies were produced encompassing most of the major arteries of the body. These movies were supplemented with associated information, color keys, and notes. The results indicate that, in general, students' attitudes towards the EVA-program were positive when compared with anatomy textbooks, but results were not the same with dissections. Additionally, knowledge tests suggest a potentially beneficial effect on learning.