What Lies Beneath

on Mar 25, 2020

In representing anatomy for a lay audience, it is not always sufficient to limit your image to traditional exterior views or cross sectional views. Sometimes it is necessary to use transparency so that you can show the outside of a structure or organ and also show what is happening beneath the surface.

In this case involving heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia, it was necessary to show the rhythmic beating of a heart but also show the internal chambers so that we could represent the flow of blood with each heartbeat. We solved this problem by creating the anatomy in 3D and by also building the interior structures so that we could adjust the opacity of the heart to see the valves and ventricles within. Adding the blood and making it flow rhythmically was the final key to the puzzle allowing us to present a realistic representation of the function of a beating heart.

Exterior views are helpful, and in some cases this may be all that you need. But in many cases, we must also look deep inside an organ to fully appreciate the function or dysfunction that is at issue. Only then, can we see what lies beneath.

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