Utility of postmortem imaging system for anatomical education in skull base surgery
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Although cadaver dissections are important for skull base surgeons to acquire anatomical knowledge and techniques, their opportunities are limited in Japan. The Autopsy Imaging Center of the University of Fukui Hospital has both a CT scanner and an MR unit solely for deceased patients. The authors applied the postmortem imaging to cadaver dissections and evaluated its usefulness in surgical education. Ten sides of five formalin-fixed cadaver heads were dissected by ten neurosurgeons. Five neurosurgeons were young, three were moderately experienced, and two were experts in skull base surgery. They performed orbitozygomatic, anterior transpetrosal, posterior transpetrosal, and transcondylar approaches. CT bone images were taken before and after dissections, and MR images were taken before dissection to merge with the CT bone images. The usefulness of the images for each neurosurgeon and for each skull base approach was evaluated. The postmortem imaging system was useful for all neurosurgeons, especially in anterior transpetrosal, posterior transpetrosal, and transcondylar approaches. They could find the insufficiency or excessiveness of their drilling of specific bony structures with the images. Even the experts in skull base surgery could identify regions in which they could add drilling safely to widen the surgical field more. The postmortem imaging system was useful for skull base cadaver dissections. This system is expected to be utilized for education and research on surgical anatomy.
KeywordsCadaver dissection Medical education Postmortem imaging Skull base surgery Surgical anatomy
The authors are grateful to Mr. Akihiko Nishijima for the technical assistance with imaging and to Mr. Hiroyuki Nakade for the support in cadaver dissections.
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