3D Visualization of Lung Anatomy: New Approaches to Medical Education

Faculty Advisor

David L. Dufeau Ph.D

Document Type


Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences


Context 3-Dimensional (3D) imaging is utilized in a variety of ways in medicine, including ultra-sound facial scanning in utero, breast cancer detection, and mapping blood vessels. 3D imaging can also be used to educate both students and patients. Oftentimes, it can prove difficult to visualize the spatial relationships between blood vessels and territories they supply or drain, but through the use of 3D-image rendering software we can improve the way this information is presented to enhance medical student and patient education. All images and videos produced in this research project were produced at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in the 3D Visualization Laboratory. Anony-mized CT image studies were evaluated with the 3D analytical software Amira. This allowed for the identification and discrimination of anatomical structures such as blood vessels, lung tissue, and airways. Using the video and animation editing software Camtasia Studio, the 3D images were composed into an educational video to be presented for further clarity. This research project used CT images to provide a clear demonstration of the pulmonary vasculature and its corresponding territories. In anatomy lab, students may find it difficult to find basic anatomical structures. For example, visualization of the pulmonary artery’s branches and vascular territories within the lung requires tedious dissection. Figures generated throughout the project show the paths of the various pulmonary artery branches which supply the different lobes of the lung, allowing viewers to appreciate the vascular territories much more easily. This project includes a YouTube video, complete with 3D imaging for each pulmonary artery and vein branches, to help portray functional pulmonary anatomy and vascular territories so as to mitigate any confusion students or patients may have.


Copyright 2019 all authors

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