Measuring Learning Success In First-Year Gross Anatomy

After studying the impact of the Anatomage Table on student anatomy learning, researchers from the University of Heidelberg, German Cancer Research Center, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology recently published the study results. Through both qualitative and quantitative data, the team was able to measure the success of radiologic imaging and 3D visualization utility in the first-year gross anatomy courses,

Learn Anatomy Through Virtual Technology

The research centered around two anatomy courses – including the Heidelberg Curriculum (HeiCuMed) of gross anatomy and the radiologic anatomy (RA) seminar. While the HeiCuMed course is a more conventional anatomy course, the RA seminar uses innovative radiologic imaging such as CT scans and X-rays to teach gross anatomy. The study conducted the quantitative evaluation using three specific cohorts of students through a multiple choice anatomy examination. Group 1 had access to CT workstations, extra training in the RA seminar (CT + seminar group) and our Anatomage Table.  Group 2 had additional training in the RA seminar course while  group 3 received conventional anatomy learning experience.

Anatomage Table Increased Student Anatomy Scores By 27.3%

Overall, group two ( which had access to CT, seminar training and Anatomage Table) achieved both higher and statistically significant anatomy scores compared to the conventional anatomy and RA seminar groups. This cohort increased scores by 19.3% and 27.3% respectively when compared to those without CT scan training in the seminar and conventional anatomy course. Significant improvements were also seen when comparing the CT + seminar group to the other two groups with knowledge of the head and neck and extremities. This might be explained by the fact that intra- and extracranial anatomical structures are more complex in structure. Viewing these structures through virtual dissection may have resulted in more complete knowledge retention. Having access to CT cross-sections and virtual dissection tools may have also impacted students’ knowledge of extremities and distal structures in the human anatomy.


Paech, D., Giesel, F., Unterhinninghofen, R., Schlemmer, H., Kuner, T., & Doll, S. (2016). Cadaver-specific CT scans visualized at the dissection table combined with virtual dissection tables improve learning performance in general gross anatomy. [Abstract]. European Radiology, 25(9). doi:10.1007/s00330-016-4554-5.

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