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ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2002 Nov-Dec;64(6):378-81.

The visible ear: a digital image library of the temporal bone.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.


High-fidelity computer-based modeling, simulation and visualization systems for the study of temporal bone anatomy and training for middle ear surgery are based on a sequence of digital anatomical images, which must cover a large tissue volume and yet display details in high resolution and with high fidelity. However, the use of existing image libraries by independent developers of virtual models of the ear is limited by copyright protection and low image resolution. A fresh frozen human temporal bone was CT-scanned and serially sectioned at 25 microm and digital images of the block surface were recorded at 50- to 100-microm increments with a Light Phase(TM) single-shot camera back attachment. A total of 605 images were recorded in 24-bit RGB resolution. After color correction and elimination of image size variation by differential cropping to 15.4 cm x 9.7 cm, all images were resampled to 3,078 x 1,942 pixels at a final resolution of 50 microm/pixel and stored as 605 one-Mb JPEG files together with a three-dimensional viewer. The resulting complete set of image data provides: (1) a source material suitable for generating computer models of the human ear; (2) a resource of high-quality digital images of anatomical cross sections from the human ear, and (3) a PC-based viewer of the temporal bone in three perpendicular planes of section.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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