J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Jul;35(27):e212. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e212.

Portable Document Format File Containing the Schematics and Operable Surface Models of the Head Structures

  • 1Tulane Center for Clinical Neurosciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • 2Department of Anatomy, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 3Department of Anatomy, Dongguk University School of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea


A book entitled “Visually Memorable Regional Anatomy (VMRA)” consists of extremely schematic figures as well as concise anatomic knowledge. On the other hand, in the Visible Korean (VK) project, three-dimensional surface models of 297 head structures have been reconstructed. The study's objective was to verify how the coexistence of the schematic figures and realistic surface models affected anatomy learning.
In the portable document format (PDF) file of VMRA, 19 pages of the surface models of the head from the PDF file of VK were embedded. The resultant PDF file was utilized as a learning tool of the medical students in two universities.
The PDF file could be downloaded free of charge from anatomy.co.kr. The PDF file has been accessed by users from multiple countries including Korea, United States, and Hungary. In the PDF file, the surface models could be selected in any combinations, magnified, freely rotated, and compared to the corresponding schematics. The number of hours that the PDF file was used by medical students and the scores of written examination on the PDF file showed a low positive correlation in a university. The students replied that the combined PDF file was helpful for understanding anatomy and for doing cadaver dissection. They were also satisfied with the convenience of comparing the surface models and schematics.
The freely obtainable PDF file would be a beneficial tool to help students learn anatomy easily, interactively, and accurately.


Books; Regional Anatomy; Head; Three-dimensional Imaging; Visible Human Projects


  • Fig. 1 Composition of the PDF file of Visually Memorable Regional Anatomy and Visible Korean. (A) A schematic figure and a captured view of surface models with annotations of the facial muscles. (B) PDF file containing the schematic figure, captured view, and explanations. (C) PDF file containing a page of the surface models.

  • Fig. 2 Written examination made with the captured views of rotated surface models. The answers are [1] superior petrosal sinus, [2] lacrimal bone, [3] internal carotid artery, [4] buccinator, [5] trigeminal ganglion, [6] maxillary nerve, and [7] nasociliary nerve.

  • Fig. 3 Manipulation of the surface models in the PDF file of Visually Memorable Regional Anatomy & Visible Korean. (A) Simultaneous highlight of the anatomical name and surface model of the frontalis. (B) Concealing of the surface models of facial muscles to reveal those of the cranium; (C) rotation of the surface models.

  • Fig. 4 Result of questionnaire survey given to the medical students who used the PDF file of Visually Memorable Regional Anatomy & Visible Korean.

  • Fig. 5 Scatter plot of the operating hours of the PDF file of Visually Memorable Regional Anatomy & Visible Korean and the scores of written examination on the captured views.


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