Monday, October 21, 2013

Anatomy Resource: Alex zur Linden's Clinical Equine Imaging Reference Site

What's new on your iPad?

Our reference systems are evolving as we become both more dependent on and more at ease with our digital tools. There was a time when we didn't want to take laptops, iPads and SmartPhones into barns or lug them along to consultation meetings, but new coatings and cases and diligent cleaning are making tools more resilient and horse-friendly, while our reference books stay clean and crisp on shelves for when our hands are clean.

And with some of the new apps and reference sites emerging, who wants to leave their tech tools behind?

Apps are coming out at a fast and furious rate, and this fall sees a set impressive web-based tools that will be featured on The Hoof Blog as they emerge.

Today we introduce the first, an example of a reference website that could have been squirreled away for personal or department use, but instead is being shared with open access.

Dr. zur Linden's reference site offers images of the distal limb in both 3-D from CT scans (above) and as radiographs (below).

Alex zur Linden, DVM, DACVR, is Assistant Professor of Radiology at Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He assembled a series of 3-D videos constructed from CT scans with the Osirix medical imaging viewer software developed for Macintosh computers; both the equine and bovine limb skeletal anatomy are displayed on the site, which is hosted on the Iowa State Univeristy vet school web site.

This is the radiographic view of the image above.
The CT-derived videos rotate; the still images can be toggled with and without labels of key structures. Sections of the equine web site are from the distal limb (P1, navicular bone, P2, P3) to the shoulder. There are 10 views of the distal limb in CT view and 10 in the radiographic view, for a total of 20 views of the distal limb.

The site is cleanly designed and easy to navigate, with a left margin nav bar allowing the user to choose the structures and view; across the top are choices of 3-D or radiographic images. A label bar allows the user to choose the size of the lable, andwhether or not it is tagged to the structure with a line. The image can be reduced or enlarged using preset percentages.

"It was meant to be a free source of information for anyone that could make good use of it," zur Linden told The Hoof Blog. "The more people that know about this site and can make good use of it the better. It was designed with veterinary students in mind, but anyone can use it."
Professor zur Linden

Zur Linden's next project will be to develop a tool similar to a wii-remote video game controller that will assist veterinary surgeons when reading radiographs.

If studying or referencing anatomy is something that you're hoping to do more efficiently and elegantly on your laptop or iPad, be sure to bookmark Dr. zur Linden's helpful site:

Click to learn about durable and beautiful plastinated anatomy reference specimen.

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