Magnetic resonance microscopy versus light microscopy in human embryology teaching

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A study was carried out on the application of magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) in teaching prenatal human development. Human embryos measuring 8 mm, 15 mm, 18.5 mm, and 22 mm were fixed in a 4% paraformaldehyde solution and sections obtained with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were compared to those prepared for light microscopy (LM), using the same embryos. The MRM and LM slices were of a similar quality. In the MRM sections, embryonic organs and systems were clearly visible, particularly the peripheral and central nervous systems, and the cardiovascular and digestive systems. The digitalization and clarity of the MRM images make them an ideal teaching aid that is suitable for students during the first years of a health‐science degree, particularly medicine. As well as providing students with their first experience of MRM, these images allow students to access, at any time, all embryos used, to assess changes in the positions of different organs throughout their stages of development, and to acquire spatial vision, an absolute requirement in the study of human anatomy. We recommend that this technique be incorporated into the wealth of standard embryonic teaching methods already in use.
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Puerta-Fonollá J, Vázquez-Osorio T, Ruiz-Cabello J, Murillo-González J, Peña-Melián A. Magnetic resonance microscopy versus light microscopy in human embryology teaching. Clin Anat. 2004 Jul;17(5):429-435.