Lobe or Lobule? An Explanation from the Etymological Origin: Proposal for Terminologia Anatomica

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Rodrigo Lizama Pérez; Nicolás Vidal-Seguel; Marcela Pumeyrau Solar; Rodrigo Muñoz Cofré; Daniel Conei; Christopher Nicholson & Bélgica Vásquez


During the Renaissance anatomists laid the foundations for present day knowledge in this discipline. Not all anatomists however, were good linguists, which led to errors in translation and prompted discussions in reference to the correct use of certain anatomical terms. The controversial use of the terms lobe and lobule being one of these discrepancies. The objective of this study was to analyze the terms lobus and lobulus and propose a correct concept for the naming of anatomical structures following Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology (FIPAT) recommendations. A search was carried out for the terms lobe and lobule with their derivatives in Anatomical Terminology. Each term was analyzed from an etymological and semantic point of view according to the Medical-Biological, Historical and Etymological Dictionary, University of Salamanca. Terms derived from lobe and lobule can be found in a number of systems in the human body, characterizing this term as one of frequent use. In conclusion, the term lobe from the Latin lobus, originates from the Greek language, meaning the rounded structure and protrusion of an organ. Subsequently, Romans Latinized the term in order to reclassify it into medical language. Consequently, and in accordance to FITAP regulation, with Latin as the official language, the correct terms to use are lobus and lobulus.

KEY WORDS: Lobe; Lobule; Anatomical Terminology.

How to cite this article

LIZAMA, P. R.; VIDAL-SEGUEL, N.; PUMEYRAU, S. M.; MUÑOZ, C. R.; CONEI, D.; NICHOLSON, C. & VÁSQUEZ, B. Lobe or lobule? An explanation from the etymological origin: Proposal for Terminologia Anatomica. Int. J. Morphol., 38(4):1047- 1052, 2020.