Original Publication
Open Access

Sectional Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis (Out of Print)

Published: October 20, 2009 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.5094

Included in this publication:

  • User Guide.doc

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This tutorial serves as an introduction to normal cross-sectional anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis for preclinical students enrolled in medical human structure. This resource stimulates self-directed learning by integrating introductory radiographic anatomy into a structured format that is readily accessible for local and distance learning. Active learning was achieved by creating four tutorial units that target content areas dealing with computerized tomography (CT) scans of cross-sectional anatomy. Each unit provides opportunities for learner self-assessment through repetition and immediate feedback. This resource is best used in conjunction with radiology/anatomy lectures and labs to reinforce the didactic and practical (dissection) experiences for learners enrolled in human structure courses. In both 2007 and 2008, learners scored at the 77th percentile on the gross anatomy subject examination. These scores are significantly higher than those recorded prior to implementation of instructional technology in the curriculum beginning in 2001. Organizing content into discrete tutorials is highly effective in teaching learners a large volume of information without overwhelming them all at once. Exposing preclinical students to introductory CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis provides learners with a glimpse into the comprehensive evaluation of more contemporary imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Framing content in a clinically relevant manner not only serves to solidify what students have learned in their courses but also creates confidence by demonstrating how they will approach patient problems in their clinical years. These qualitative observations are supported by recent improvements in learner performance on National Board of Medical Examiners subject shelf exams.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this tutorial, learners should be able to:

  1. Know the normal cross-sectional radiographic anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis.
  2. Self-assess through repetition and immediate feedback.

Author Information

  • Penprapa Klinkhachorn, DVM, PhD: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Richard Dey: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Robert Tallaksen: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Powsiri Klinkhachorn: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Terance Wijesinghe: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey Altemus: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Frank Reilly: West Virginia University School of Medicine

None to report. 

This research was supported by Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) Grant funds from West Virginia University.

Prior Presentations
Klinkhachorn P, Reilly F, Dey R, Altemus J, Kamsala M. Interactive thorax and abdomen radiological anatomy courseware for the internet. Presented at: Slice of Life Conference; 2004; Leiden, the Netherlands.


Klinkhachorn P, Dey R, Tallaksen R, et al. Sectional anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis (out of print). MedEdPORTAL. 2009;5:5094. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.5094