Nerve Surgeons' Assessment of the Role of Eduard Pernkopf's Atlas of Topographic and Applied Human Anatomy in Surgical Practice.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:Pernkopf's atlas of Anatomy contains anatomical plates with detailed images of the peripheral nerves. Its use is controversial due to the author's association with the "Third Reich" and the potential depiction of victims of the Holocaust. The ethical implications of using this atlas for informing surgical planning have not been assessed. OBJECTIVE:To (1) assess the role of Pernkopf's atlas in nerve surgeons' current practice and (2) determine whether a proposal for its ethical handling may provide possible guidance for use in surgery and surgical education. METHODS:Members of American Society for Peripheral Nerve and PASSIO Education (video-based learning platform) were surveyed and 182 responses collected. The survey introduced the historical origin of Pernkopf's atlas, and respondents were asked whether they would use the atlas under specific conditions to serve as a recommendation for its ethical handling. An anatomical plate comparison between Netter's and Pernkopf's atlases was performed to compare anatomical accuracy and surgical utility. RESULTS:Fifty-nine percent of respondents were aware of Pernkopf's atlas, with 13% currently using it. Aware of the historical facts, 69% were comfortable using the atlas, 15% uncomfortable, and 17% undecided. Additional information on conditions for an ethical approach to the use of the atlas led 76% of those "uncomfortable" and "undecided" to becoming "comfortable" with use. CONCLUSION:While the use of Pernkopf's atlas remains controversial, a proposal detailing conditions for an ethical approach in its use provides new guidance in surgical planning and education.

journal_name

Neurosurgery

journal_title

Neurosurgery

authors

Yee A,Coombs DM,Hildebrandt S,Seidelman WE,Coert JH,Mackinnon SE

doi

10.1093/neuros/nyy159

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-02-01 00:00:00

pages

491-498

issue

2

eissn

0148-396X

issn

1524-4040

pii

4993893

journal_volume

84

pub_type

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