What is the Criteria Used to Include Certain Anatomical Variations in Terminologia Anatomica?

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Bélgica Vásquez & Mariano del Sol


Traditionally since their approval, the terms of anatomical variations have been incorporated in the Basle Nomina Anatomica (BNA, 1895), Jena Nomina Anatomica (JNA, 1933) and Paris Nomina Anatomica (PNA, 1955). In the first two editions of Terminologia Anatomica (TA) (1998 and 2019), numerous anatomical terms, can be found in parenthesis, which according to their anatomical definition, are indicative that they do not constitute normal standards. Therefore, it is worthwhile inquiring what criteria was used at the time these terms were incorporated. Experience and knowledge in the anatomical teaching field, has asserted that ‘normal’ is a concept with a strong statistical component. In anatomical normal standards, it has been noted that the statistical criterion is most important. That is to say that the anatomical structure is found in the highest percentage of the population, generally in over 50% of cases. Consequently, structures found below the statistical average in number should not be considered anatomically normal. The concept of normality in human anatomy is different from that in a patient, given that normal in that case is considered when the person is not incubating or suffering from a disease. In this article we present a series of terms incorporated into TA which, considering our point of view, shouldnotbepartoftheTA. Nevertheless,asaresultofexhaustive research, certain terms with higher statistical percentages are emphasized which were not incorporated in the Terminology.

KEY WORDS: Terminologia Anatomica; Anatomical variations; Anatomical terms.

How to cite this article

VÁSQUEZ, B. & DEL SOL , M. What is the criteria used to include certain anatomical variations in Terminologia Anatomica? Int. J. Morphol 38(4):1136-1141, 2020.