Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 199–204 | Cite as

A three-dimensional (3D) representation of pericardial cavity based on computed tomography (CT)

  • E. de Schlichting
  • Y. Robert
  • L. Selek
  • O. Palombi
  • Philippe ChaffanjonEmail author
Original Article



The 3D modeling of human anatomy is more and more often used in medical education and in computer-augmented medicine. The lack of a 3D model of the pericardium has led us to its implementation.


The pericardium was reconstructed from a CT scan recording of a young, healthy subject. The anonymous CT scan data were blindly reviewed and interpreted by two independent radiologists. Stage one consisted in reconstructing the entire heart with the main afferent and efferent vessels. As the pericardial layers cannot be observed only with the CT scan, the second stage was to draw its reflection line following the most frequent model of pericardium defined in one of our prior studies. Afterwards, the epicardium had to be milled to finally create a pericardial sac area.


Firstly, a model of one normal heart was reconstructed. Secondly, parietal and visceral layers of the pericardium have been achieved from the representation of their line of reflection. A short video shows recesses and sinuses and particularly, the transverse sinus crossed by a virtual object.


The resulting model is subject to certain limits, including reproducibility linked to the operator, individual anatomical variation, and scanner resolution but it represents a pericardial pouch true to its more common anatomical morphology. It offers a very precise educational tool. It must be considered as the first step of an automatic segmentation and reconstruction process to modelize normal and pathological pericardium. This is also the first step before a 3D dynamic model, synchronized with heartbeats.


3D modeling Pericardium Dynamic representation Medical education 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MP4 67174 kb)


  1. 1.
    Chaffanjon P, Brichon PY, Faure C, Favre JJ (1997) Pericardial reflection around the venous aspect of the heart. Surg Radiol Anat 19:17–21CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chaffanjon P, Piolat C, Palombi O, Faure C, Brichon PY (2004) An esophago-atrial vein or fibrous cord in a top fold of the oblique sinus of the pericardial sac. Surg Radiol Anat 26:325–328CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Depreux R (2001) Schémas de travaux pratiques d’Anatomie. La Cavité Thoracique. Vigot, ParisGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dhem A (2010) Sobotta Atlas d’Anatomie Humaine (5ème édition). Lavoisier EM Inter, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Milhiet H, Jager P (1956) Anatomie et Chirurgie du péricarde. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Monod C, Duhamel B (1996) Schémas d’Anatomie n:6. Thorax. Vigot, ParisGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Netter F (2010) Atlas d’Anatomie Humaine 5ème édition. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Palombi O, Bousquet G, Jospin D, Hassan S, Reveret L, Faure F (2009) My corporis fabrica: a unified ontological, geometrical and mechanical view of human anatomy. In: 2nd workshop on 3D physiological human, 3DPH2009. Zermatt, Suisse. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5903. Springer, New York, pp 207–219Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. de Schlichting
    • 1
  • Y. Robert
    • 1
  • L. Selek
    • 1
  • O. Palombi
    • 1
  • Philippe Chaffanjon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Ladaf, Laboratoire d’Anatomie des Alpes Françaises, UFR de MédecineUniversité Grenoble-AlpesLa Tronche CedexFrance
  2. 2.GIPSA Lab (UMR5216), Département Parole et CognitionUniversité Grenoble-AlpesLa Tronche CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations