Scapulohumeral Spaces: Concordance and Proposal for Terminologia Anatomica

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Carlos Torres-Villar; Fernando Valenzuela-Aedo; Christopher Nicholson; Enrique Olave & Nilton Alves


The updating of anatomical terms is essential to facilitate teaching and learning as well as international communication through publications and presentations at scientific events. In the posterior wall of the axilla, the teres major, teres minor and triceps brachii muscles form three spaces through which neurovascular structures of clinical significance run. The current study seeks to define and propose terms for these spaces which have been omitted by Terminologia Anatomica. The definition of the Latin term 'Spatium' was investigated using A Latin Dicionary, while the term 'Espacio' was analyzed using Diccionario panhispánico de términos médicos (Real Academia Nacional de Medicina de España, 2023), as well as the lexemes of the words 'scapula' and 'humerus', for which the Diccionario Médico-Biológico, Histórico y Etimológico de la Universidad de Salamanca was consulted. The presence of the term 'Spatium' in the Terminologia Anatomica was also investigated. Finally, 10 anatomy textbooks in Spanish were reviewed to identify the terms used for these spaces. In reviewing the latest edition of Terminologia Anatomica, it was found that the term 'Spatium' appears 25 times in different chapters and it was evident that no terms for scapulohumeral spaces appear in the chapters on upper limb structures. Moreover, in 100 % of the anatomy textbooks reviewed, at least one term is used to describe the scapulohumeral spaces. We believe that the proposed terms: 'Spatium humerotricipitale', 'Spatium scapulotricipitale' and 'Spatium teretricipitale' more accurately describe both the location and their association with the bone/muscle structures that form them. We therefore suggest that these terms be revised for inclusion in future editions of Terminologia Anatomica.

KEY WORDS: Scapulohumeral spaces; Terminologia Anatomica; Latin.

How to cite this article

TORRES-VILLAR, C.; VALENZUELA-AEDO, F.; NICHOLSON, C.; OLAVE, E. & ALVES, N. Scapulohumeral spaces: Concordance and proposal for Terminologia Anatomica. Int. J. Morphol., 42(2):525-529, 2024.