, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 459-466
Date: 17 May 2008

Anatomical terminology and nomenclature: past, present and highlights

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Abstract

The anatomical terminology is a base for medical communication. It is elaborated into a nomenclature in Latin. Its history goes back to 1895, when the first Latin anatomical nomenclature was published as Basiliensia Nomina Anatomica. It was followed by seven revisions (Jenaiensia Nomina Anatomica 1935, Parisiensia Nomina Anatomica 1955, Nomina Anatomica 2nd to 6th edition 1960–1989). The last revision, Terminologia Anatomica, (TA) created by the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology and approved by the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists, was published in 1998. Apart from the official Latin anatomical terminology, it includes a list of recommended English equivalents. In this article, major changes and pitfalls of the nomenclature are discussed, as well as the clinical anatomy terms. The last revision (TA) is highly recommended to the attention of not only teachers, students and researchers, but also to clinicians, doctors, translators, editors and publishers to be followed in their activities.