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The naming game: A discrepancy among the medical community

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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As anatomists we rely on the nomenclature of structures in order to describe them appropriately, particularly their orientation in respect to their surrounding. The terminology used by the anatomist to describe an organ, muscle, or nerve within the body is taught to medical students as law. Students learn to describe structures in the anatomical position, which has been accepted in the literature since the original Latin Nomina Anatomica. They therefore familiarize themselves with the use of terms such as superior, inferior, posterior and anterior to describe all anatomical structures, except in respect of the heart. The heart is still described in the original Valentine position. As anatomists we owe it to the medical and research community to correct the nomenclature to minimize confusion, and to describe the heart properly in respect to its surrounding structures. Clin. Anat. 29:285-289, 2016. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Loukas M, Aly I, Tubbs RS, Anderson RH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Anatomy

Year: 2016

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

Pages: 285-289

Print publication date: 01/04/2016

Online publication date: 18/11/2015

Acceptance date: 30/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0897-3806

ISSN (electronic): 1098-2353



DOI: 10.1002/ca.22666