Clinical Relevance of Official Anatomical Terminology: The Significance of Using Synonyms

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Biljana Srdic Galic; Sinisa S. Babovic; Snezana Vukadinovic & Goran Strkalj


Terminologia Anatomica is a unique collection of technical terms that enable communication in anatomy and medicine across the world. However, current anatomical terminology also contains some internal inconsistencies and discrepancies in regard to clinical terminology. Thus, a number of terms are not logically related to the names of similar anatomical entities, or the names of corresponding physiological and pathological conditions. Moreover, during clinical practice many anatomical terms have commonly been replaced by new, clinical idioms. These terminological discrepancies represent an impediment to learning and teaching in medical and health professions programs. In this paper it is proposed that the relevant synonyms should be introduced into Terminologia Anatomica in the same way as currently the case for the kidney (ren/nephros) and uterine tube (tuba uterina/salpinx). This change would significantly reduce inconsistencies in nomenclature and make anatomical terminology more logical, easier to understand and memorize. Further more, it would better align anatomy with other branches of medicine and medical education.

KEY WORDS: Anatomical nomenclature; Anatomical terminology; Gross anatomy education; Medical education; Synonyms.

How to cite this article

GALIC, B. S.; BABOVIC, S. S.; VUKADINOVIC, S. & STRKALJ, G. Clinical relevance of official anatomical terminology: The significance of using synonyms. Int. J. Morphol., 36(4):1168-1174, 2018.