A three-dimensional digital visualization model of cervical nerves in a healthy person*

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Abstract

Research Highlights

(1) We constructed a three-dimensional visualization model of the cervical nerves using Mimics software based on original two-dimensional data obtained by continuous CT angiography and magnetic resonance myelography in a healthy volunteer.

Research Highlights

(2) This model represents the first in vivo data of cervical nerve anatomy, which differs from classical methods using “visible human” (Digital Human) frozen sections from a cadaver.

Research Highlights

(3) This model overcomes the disadvantages of the milling technique and avoids data loss. thermore, vivid images from various angles can be observed due to minimal pattern distortion.

Three-dimensional reconstruction nerve models are classically obtained from two-dimensional ages of “visible human” frozen sections. However, because of the flexibility of nerve tissues and small color differences compared with surrounding tissues, the integrity and validity of nerve tissues can be impaired during milling. Thus, in the present study, we obtained two-dimensional data from a healthy volunteer based on continuous CT angiography and magnetic resonance myelography. Semi-automatic segmentation and reconstruction were then conducted at different thresholds in different tissues using Mimics software. Small anatomical structures such as muscles and cervical nerves were reconstructed using the medical computer aided design module. Three-dimensional digital models of the cervical nerves and their surrounding structures were successfully developed, which allowed visualization of the spatial relation of anatomical structures with a strong three-dimensional effect, distinct appearance, clear distribution, and good continuity, precision, and integrality. These results indicate the validity of a three-dimensional digital visualization model of healthy human cervical nerves, which overcomes the disadvantages of milling, avoids data loss, and exhibits a realistic appearance and three-dimensional image.

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