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3D analysis of human embryos and fetuses using digitized datasets from the Kyoto Collection

Abstracts

Three-dimensional (3D) analysis of the human embryonic and early-fetal period has been performed using digitized datasets obtained from the Kyoto Collection, in which the digital datasets play a primary role in research. Datasets include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquired with 1.5 T, 2.35 T, and 7 T magnet systems, phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography (CT), and digitized histological serial sections. Large, high-resolution datasets covering a broad range of developmental periods obtained with various methods of acquisition are key elements for the studies. The digital data have gross merits that enabled us to develop various analysis. Digital data analysis accelerated the speed of morphological observations using precise and improved methods by providing a suitable plane for a morphometric analysis from staged human embryos. Morphometric data are useful for quantitatively evaluating and demonstrating the features of development and for screening abnormal samples, which may be suggestive in the pathogenesis of congenital malformations. Morphometric data are also valuable for comparing sonographic data in a process known as “sonoembryology.” The 3D coordinates of anatomical landmarks may be useful tools for analyzing the positional change of interesting landmarks and their relationships during development. Several dynamic events could be explained by differential growth using 3D coordinates. Moreover, 3D coordinates can be utilized in mathematical analysis as well as statistical analysis. The 3D analysis in our study may serve to provide accurate morphologic data, including the dynamics of embryonic structures related to developmental stages, which is required for insights into the dynamic and complex processes occurring during organogenesis

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