Topographic approach to the study of the human body.

Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)

PubMedID: 15176042

Burykh MP. Topographic approach to the study of the human body. Clin Anat. 2004;17(5):423-8.
Recent developments in medical imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been explosive. These modalities provide 3D information about the human body and assess tissue damage in various pathological conditions. To complement the diagnostic usefulness of these imaging techniques, we have designed a system of topographic coordinates based on the principles of global projection cartography in which lines of latitude and longitudes are assigned to the surface of the human body. We designated the median sagittal plane as corresponding to the Greenwich Meridian (zero longitude) in global cartography. From the median sagittal plane (M0), vertical lines of longitude or "great circles" divide the body into 12 zones that are 30 degrees apart. Parallel lines of latitude are assigned according to surface anatomy landmarks. Studying the 3D reconstruction of anatomical structures is important for: 1) devising a system of coordinates; 2) allowing biomedical measurements to be made; and 3) drawing maps that may be useful in some clinical procedures (e.g., biopsies).