Review of ultrasound-guided labeling: exploring its potential in teaching cadaveric ligaments during anatomical dissection courses

Int J Med Educ. 2024 Jan 31:15:8-14. doi: 10.5116/ijme.65ae.4782.


Objectives: This scoping review aimed to give an overview of the existing literature about ultrasound-guided labeling techniques of human cadaver ligaments and tried to work out the possibilities of integrating ultrasound into dissection courses.

Methods: A literature review was carried out on the 3rd of January 2023, with relevant studies discovered in the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, BIOSIS Previews and Web of Science Core Collection. Grey literature was also considered. The reference lists of all relevant papers were scanned. Only ultrasound studies on human cadaver ligaments were included. The included studies' general characteristics and ultrasound-guided approaches to label the ligaments were taken from them and examined.

Results: The search found 8899 matches, but only 96 of them met the criteria. The transverse carpal ligament (15.62%) and the annular pulleys (19.79%) were the ligaments that had received the greatest research attention. Twenty-three studies are included in the methodological analysis. Both the marking substrate and the injected volume were diverse. Although 65% of the included studies achieved 100% accuracy using the ultrasound directed labeling approaches.

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided labeling techniques achieve a high accuracy. Therefore, this methodology could be a potential teaching tool for students during the dissection course. But caution is advised in drawing general conclusions because of the small sample sizes and different methodologies in the studies. Future larger-scale research is necessary.

Keywords: human cadaver; ligaments; medical education; scoping review; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional* / methods