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September 20, 1995

Animations of Thoracic Viscera

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland, Ore

JAMA. 1995;274(11):920-921. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530110084045

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The teaching of anatomy has entered a whole new realm since the onset of the computer age and advances in diagnostic imaging. The videodisc-format Animations of Thoracic Viscera, part of the Digital Anatomist Videodisc Series from the University of Washington School of Medicine, represents a medium that is likely to see increasing use because of its three-dimensional accuracy to life, maneuverability for viewing anatomic elements from any angle, and portability.

Animations of Thoracic Viscera has created separate computer files for each anatomical structure, reproduced with precise accuracy from a cryoplaned cadaver. This enables the thoracic organs to be reproduced in three-dimensional form. The image quality is superior to usual computer reproductions. All the major thoracic elements—arteries, veins, nerves, bone, muscular tissue, and so on— are differentially colored. This is a helpful identifying technique, although the brightness of the half-dozen colors sometimes gives a surrealistic impression, which detracts from the lifelike

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