Virtual reality demonstration of surgical specimens, including links to histologic features

Hector Melin-Aldana*, Debra Sciortino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The demonstration of surgical specimens, whether using 35-mm slides or digital images, tends to consist of the sequential presentation of images. Current digital technology permits a more flexible and effective way of communication, with the opportunity to more easily "navigate" between different aspects of specimens. We demonstrate a "virtual reality" method, based on QuickTime VR technology, that permits the interactive review of a complete profile of surgical specimens in the horizontal plane. Specimens were placed individually on a circular rotating platform. Thirty-six images of each specimen were captured using a digital camera, with rotation of the platform at 10° intervals. The images were transferred to a computer and processed using specialized software (VRWorx). Histologic images were separately captured from tissue sections on glass slides using a digital camera mounted on a microscope. The final product is viewed using the QuickTime Viewer software application. A 360° horizontal view of the specimens is achieved, with the capacity to actively rotate the specimen and to zoom in for closer review. Additionally, the user/presenter can click in predetermined "hot spots," which will open histologic images linked to those spots. This methodology, which uses readily available computer technology, helps provide a better three-dimensional understanding of surgical specimens and also a better correlation between gross and microscopic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-961
Number of pages4
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Computers
  • Digital imaging
  • Surgical pathology
  • VR
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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