Medical illustrations and diagrams

Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 26 Sep 2023

High-quality medical illustrations and diagrams form an important part of 

All illustrations should have appropriate attribution in the case findings and only be uploaded to Radiopaedia under the following circumstances: 

  • original illustrations created by you (you still have to state this in the description unless you have added a signature and license information - see below)

  • public domain image (source and original file needs to be listed in the case findings)

  • image reproduced with permission by the author/IP holder (again, this must be explicitly stated). 

Illustrations should have sufficient detail to accurately depict both the basic anatomy of the region and pathology of the condition, in a clear and understandable manner. "Free-style" drawing is discouraged. 

Illustrations should also be of high enough resolution as to view all relevant structures easily. Illustrations do not need to contain anatomic structures that are not relevant to the condition being depicted.

  • minimum resolution: 1600 x 1600 pixels

  • square image ratios only: all other image dimensions are automatically converted to square resolutions with black extension of the canvas when uploaded

Annotations and labels can be added hard-coded in the image and/or as in-app annotations.

  • header labels at the top of the image should be in bold with a leading capital letter

  • structure labels should be all lower-case (eponyms excepted) in regular font (no bold or italic)

  • labeled structures should be indicated using a fine black or white line to the label

    • no arrowheads (these are distracting and do not add to clarity)

    • lines are preferably horizontal, vertical, 45 degrees or a combination of these

  • use 'drop shadow' with white text and lines

Google Open Sans is the preferred font for all Radiopaedia content.  It is a free Google font and can be installed on Windows and Mac computers. 

Acceptable alternatives:

  • Windows: Myriad Pro

  • Mac: Helvetica Neue

Relatively recently Radiopaedia now has the ability to add arrow-heads with labels linked to from the text. As such in many instances doing this is beneficial.

For most illustrations it is suggest that you add both a hard-coded version and one without any text and then add annotations in-app. This case is an example.

  • the artist's name or initials may be contained within the image in a non-obstructive, non-distracting location, preferably in the bottom right corner; this should not be larger in the vertical dimension than the smallest font size in the image

  • creative commons license is at artist’s discretion, however, the default on Radiopaedia is BY-NC-SA

  • do not watermark images

The illustration background color should ideally be plain white, plain black, or black with a subtle circular grey gradient. 

The following templates illustrate the above requirements and can be easily modified to suit your illustration.  Each file includes plain white, plain black and gradient backgrounds.

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Cases and figures

  • Bosniak classification of renal cysts
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  • Scaphoid
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  • Development of right circumflex aorta (illustration)
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  • Anatomy - Calcaneus
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  • Lymphangitic carcinomatosis (illustration)
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  • Rectum
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