Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 721–729 | Cite as

Computer-assisted anatomic dissection (CAAD): evolution, methodology and application in intra-pelvic innervation study

  • Bayan Alsaid
  • Thomas Bessede
  • Djibril Diallo
  • Ibrahim Karam
  • Jean François Uhl
  • Vincent Delmas
  • Stéphane Droupy
  • Gérard Benoît
Original Article



Classic anatomical methods have limitations in micro determination of nerve fibre location. Furthermore, the precise detection of the nerve fibres nature is not possible by means of dissection. The combination of immunohistochemistry and three-dimensional reconstruction could be used to resolve these limitations of morphological sciences. Our aim is to describe the evolution of computer-assisted anatomic dissection (CAAD), which is an original method applied to study the distribution of intra-pelvic nerves in anatomic research.

Materials and methods

Serial transverse sectioning of the pelvic region in rabbit, human fetus, infant and adult cadaver was performed. Sections were immuno-histochemically stained and digitized with a high optical resolution scanner. Photoshop 7 software was used in regrouping of the adult cadaver sections then a tri-dimensional reconstruction was achieved using WinSurf software.


The 3D reconstruction of the immuno-histochemically stained histologic sections of the pelvis allowed for precise structural identification of the prostate and its innervations (in fetus, infant and adult). In addition, we reconstructed the entire intra-pelvic organs with accurate demonstration of the location of both adrenergic and cholinergic pathways. Moreover, we performed a virtual dissection of each of the pelvic structures with description of the exact location of the inferior hypogastric plexus, as well as the nature and the distribution of its fibres.


The CAAD is an original method in anatomic research, which illustrates the fact that descriptive anatomy is still a dynamic science. This method allows for a 3D presentation of the intra-organic innervation, the nature of the nerve fibres, and the distribution of receptors and their neurotransmitters. This technique improves the understanding of the complex anatomic regions such as the pelvis from both surgical and educational point of view.


Anatomy Computer-assisted anatomic dissection (CAAD) Methodology Pelvic nerves Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction 


Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any financial or personal relationship with other people or organisations that might have influenced the present work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bayan Alsaid
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Thomas Bessede
    • 2
  • Djibril Diallo
    • 2
  • Ibrahim Karam
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean François Uhl
    • 3
  • Vincent Delmas
    • 3
  • Stéphane Droupy
    • 2
  • Gérard Benoît
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of DamascusDamascusSyria
  2. 2.Laboratory of Experimental Surgery, Cellular Interaction in Uro-Andrology EA 4122, Faculty of MedicineBicêtre-Paris 11 UniversityLe Kremlin-BicêtreFrance
  3. 3.Institute of Anatomy of Saints Pères URDIA, Faculty of MedicineRené Descartes-Paris 5 UniversityParisFrance

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