Contrast-enhanced cadaver-specific computed tomography in gross
Frederik L. Giesel
Received: 25 October 2017 /Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published online: 30 January 2018
European Society of Radiology 2018
Objectives To establish contrast-enhanced (CE) cadaver-specific post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) in first-year gross
anatomy teaching and quantitatively evaluate its learning benefit.
Methods 132 first-year medical students were included in this IRB-approved study and randomly assigned to an intervention
group (n=59) provided with continuous access to CE and non-enhanced (NE) cadaver-specific PMCT-scans during the first-
semester gross anatomy course, and a control group (n=73) that had only NE cadaver-specific PMCT data available. Four
multiple-choice tests were carried out (15 questions each) subsequent to completion of the corresponding anatomy module:
Head and neck anatomy, extremities, thorax, and abdomen. Median test results were compared in each module between the
groups using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Additionally, participants of the intervention group answered a 15-item feedback-
Results The intervention group achieved significantly higher test scores in head and neck anatomy (median=12.0, IQR=10.0–
13.0) versus the control group (median=10.5, IQR=9.0–12.0) (p<0.01). There were no significant differences in the comparison
of other modules. CEPMCT was highly appreciated by undergraduate medical students.
Conclusions The incorporation of contrast-enhanced cadaver-specific PMCT-scans in gross anatomy teaching was proven to be
feasible in the framework of the medical curriculum and significantly improved the students’ learning performance in head and
• Cadaver-specific contrast-enhanced post-mortem CT (CEPMCT) is feasible in the medical curriculum.
• CEPMCT yields significantly improved learning performance in head and neck anatomy (p<0.01).
• CEPMCT is highly appreciated by medical students and used in tutor- or self-guided modes.
Keywords Medical education
Computed tomography angiography
CEPMCT Contrast-Enhanced Post-mortem Computed
CG Control Group
CT Computed Tomography
DICOM Digital Imaging and Communications in
IG Intervention Group
IRB Institutional Review Board
IQR Interquartile Range
MC Multiple Choice
Daniel Paech and Kerstin Klopries contributed equally to this work.
* Daniel Paech
Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, Im
Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Heidelberg University,
Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg,
European Radiology (2018) 28:2838–2844