Three-dimensional educational computer model of the larynx: voicing a new direction

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Jul;135(7):677-81. doi: 10.1001/archoto.2009.68.


Objectives: To create a 3-dimensional (3D) educational computer model of the larynx, to assess the feasibility of this learning module on a Web-based platform, and to obtain student feedback on the module.

Design: Male and female adult cadaveric necks were scanned with microcomputed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging scanners. Key structures were identified on each slice of the computed tomogram and/or magnetic resonance image and analyzed with a segmentation software package. Then, the images were exported into Microsoft Powerpoint. Visual text and audio commentary were added. Real cases of a child's larynx, an adult with a tracheostomy, and a patient with laryngeal carcinoma were included. The computer module was launched on a password-protected, Web-based platform.

Participants: Fifty-eight first-year medical students (38% male; mean [SD] age, 23 [1.8] years) were invited to evaluate the module and to complete a survey.

Results: Most students thought that the 3D computer module was effective (60%), clear (66%), and user friendly (72%); most students (81%) thought that it was easier to understand laryngeal anatomy when they could visualize it in 3D; and most students (83%) said that they would like lectures better if they were supplemented with 3D computer modules.

Conclusion: A 3D educational computer model of the larynx has been successfully created and warmly received by medical students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Internet
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Otolaryngology / education*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult