¿Apophyses or Process? A Logical Contribution to the Construction of Anatomical Terminology

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Jorge Eduardo Duque Parra & John Barco Ríos


In this study we sought to question the inclusion in the International Anatomical Terminology two terms with different origins to designate a single structure. Under the provisions of the Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFFA) a list of Latin anatomical terms was established, in order to facilitate scientific communication, but in this list are some words of Greek origin that contradict the initial precept. The term apophysis is of Greek origin, and its meaning is ambiguous and imprecise, it lends itself to different interpretations, sometimes erroneous, when applied to designate some bony protrusions. In contrast, the term process, which originates from the Latin processus, provides a more precise meaning less confusing and which can be applied to designate all bony protrusions. Since the unexpired term in the current International Anatomical Terminology is the process to designate bony extensions, thus aiming to eliminate such terminology apophysis, being less precise and of Greek origin.

KEY WORDS: Apophyses; Anatomy; Osteology; Process; Terminology.

How to cite this article

DUQUE, P. J. E. & BARCO, R. J. ¿Apophyses or process? a logical contribution to the construction of anatomical terminology. Int. J. Morphol., 32(4):1190-1193, 2014.