Anatomy is a branch of natural science dealing with the structural organization of living things. the term ‘Anatomy’ is derived from a Greek word, “anatome“, meaning cutting up. the term ‘dissection’ is a Latin equivalent of the Greek anatome.
However the two words anatomy and dissection, are not synonymous. Dissection is a mere technique, whereas anatomy is a wide field of study.
History of Anatomy:
- Hippocrates of cos (circa 400 B.C.), the FATHER OF MEDICINE, is regarded as one of the founders of anatomy.
- Herophilus of Chalcedon (circa 300 B.C.) is called the FATHER OF ANATOMY. he was a Greek physician and was one of the first to dissect the human body.
- Mundinus or Mondino d’luzzi (1276-1326), the RESTORER OF ANATOMY was an Italian anatomist. he taught anatomy by dissection.
- Leonardo da Vinci of Italy (1452-1519), the originator of CROSS-SECTIONAL ANATOMY, was one of the greatest geniuses the world has to know.
- Vesalius (1514-1564) the ‘REFORMER OF ANATOMY’. he is regarded as the founder of modern anatomy because he taught that anatomy could be learned only through dissection.
William Harvey (1578-1657) was an English physician who discovered the circulation of blood and published it as anatomical exercise on the motion of the heart and blood in animals.
Human anatomy is the science which deals with the structure of the human body. it is subdivided into GROSS ANATOMY and MICROSCOPIC ANATOMY.
Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by unaided vision.
Microscopic anatomy is the study minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes and includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues) and cytology (the study of cells).
when a person is standing straight with eyes looking forwards, both arms by the side of body, palms facing forwards, both feet together, the position is anatomical position.
when a person is lying on her/his back, arms by the side, palms facing upwards and feet put together, the position is supine position.
person lying on his/her face, chest and abdomen is said to be in prone position.
person lying on her back with legs up and feet supported in straps. this position is mostly used during the delivery of the baby.
Anatomical plane is a hypothetical plane used to transect the human body, in order to describe the location of structures or the direction of movement.
Three principal planes are used:
The Sagittal Plane or Median Plane ( longitudinal, anteroposterior)- is a plane parallel to the sagittal suture. it divided the body into left and right.
The Coronal Plane or Frontal Plane -is perpendicular to the ground, in humans it separates the anterior from the posterior, the front from the back, the ventral from the dorsal.
The Transverse Plane or Axial (Horizontal) Plane- is parallel to the ground, in humans it separates the superior from the inferior, the cranial from the caudal.