Creation of virtual patients from CT images of cadavers to enhance integration of clinical and basic science student learning in anatomy
Epstein, Scott K.
Polak, Joseph F.
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The goal of this study was to determine whether computerized tomographic (CT) images of cadavers could be used in addition to images from patients to develop virtual patients (VPs) to enhance integrated learning of basic and clinical science. Methods: We imaged 13 cadavers on a Siemens CT system. The DICOM images from the CT were noted to be of high quality by a radiologist who systematically identified all abnormal and pathological findings. The pathological findings from the CT images and the cause of death were used to develop plausible clinical cases and study questions. Each case was designed to highlight and explain the abnormal anatomic findings encountered during the cadaveric dissection. A 3D reconstruction was produced using OsiriX and then formatted into a QuickTime movie which was then stored on the Tufts University Sciences Knowledgebase (TUSK) as a VP. Results and Conclusions: We conclude that CT scanning of cadavers produces high-quality images that can be used to develop VPs. Although the use of the VPs was optional and fewer than half of the students had an imaged cadaver for dissection, 59 of the 172 (34%) students accessed and reviewed the cases and images positively and were very encouraging for us to continue.
- Medical and Health Sciences