H. Raffan1, J. Guevar1, M. Poyade2, P.M. Rea1

1University of Glasgow (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Glasgow School of Art (UNITED KINGDOM)
The current methods used to communicate and present the complex arrangement of vasculature often falls short in undergraduate veterinary neuroanatomy training. The teaching resources currently available are primarily 2-Dimensional (2D) textbook diagrams, photographs and medical imaging scans showing a fixed viewpoint. 2D representations of 3-Dimensional (3D) objects unavoidably leads to the loss of certain spatial information, which can present problems when translating the knowledge acquired using these methods to the 3D patient.

In recognition of these issues, the value of computer-assisted learning packages offering interactive 3D anatomical models has long since been realized in medical education. The ability to view and manipulate an object in 3D space has been shown to improve anatomical learning by allowing spatial relationships, which are all too often unclear in 2D materials, to be fully appreciated and understood. Despite the routine usage of such technology in medical education, equivalent resources are scarce in veterinary education. It was therefore the aim of this project to develop an interactive application for undergraduate veterinary education to target the leading problems associated with learning neuroanatomy, primarily the inability of students to visualize the complex spatial arrangements of the cerebral vasculature from 2D resources.

This project presents a method that has been successful in developing a 3D reconstruction of the canine brain and associated vasculature through segmentation, surface generation and post-processing of readily available medical imaging data. This reconstructed 3D model has been implemented into an engaging interactive application, designed using Unity 3D, with features including 360o rotation, vessels highlighted and labeled on selection as well as the display of vessel-specific information. In addition to this, revision materials and opportunities for self-assessment were included based on content of the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) anatomy course at the University of Glasgow, School of Veterinary Medicine.

The lack of similar resources in this field suggests this workflow is original within a veterinary context. There is therefore great potential to explore this method further, and introduce a new dimension into veterinary learning.