The study of Cross-Sectional Anatomy serves two purposes; 1) as a visual medium to facilitate an understanding of the structural organization of the human body and 2) as preparation for the study of computed tomography (CT). It is important to appreciate that one need not desire to be a radiologist in order to benefit from a study of cross-sectional anatomy. A study of human anatomy from cross-sectioned cadaveric specimens provides a visually unique representation of the positions, sizes, shapes, and relationships of structures; this in turn facilitates an appreciation for the three-dimensional organization of the body. Cross-sectioned cadaveric images, particularly those of the quality available from the Visible Human Project of the National Library of Medicine, permit observation of intact anatomical relationships in specimens that are in fact "dissected" albeit in a highly unique manner. Within the clinical sciences a study of cross-sectioned cadaveric specimens facilitates interpretation of CT radiology since CT scans are typically performed in the cross-sectional plane.

Collectively the male and female cadavers of the Visible Human Project comprise nearly 7,000 cross-sectional images. This vast number of images far exceeds that necessary to appreciate the major anatomical relationships, e.g. organ positions, sizes, shapes, etc. of the human body. NetAnatomy utilizes a selected number of Visible Human images (65 sections total) that were specifically chosen to depict all major body regions and the most varied levels within those regions. The text that accompanies each cadaveric image describes its major structural features by body system with an emphasis on the relationships between structures and the major structural changes that occur between body levels. The selected content provides a thorough anatomical study while eliminating the vast redundancy inherent in the many images of the Visible Human Project. For reference to other Visible Human based collections, the actual four digit Visible Human image identification number is provided on screen for each Visible Human image displayed in NetAnatomy.