Definition of Anatomy
- Anatomy is the study of the structures of organisms.
- Human anatomy is the study of structures in the body.
- This includes both large structures and small ones, that can only be seen under a microscope.
- It is formed from the greek words:
- "ana" which means "up"
- "temnein" which means "to cut"
Areas of specializationAnatomy is divided into several areas:
- Gross anatomy
- This is the study of large structures, that don't need magnification.
- Gross anatomy is also referred to as "macroscopic anatomy".
- Microscopic anatomy
- This is the study of small structures, usually with the help of a microscope.
- It is further divided into:
- Histology: the study of tissues
- Cytology: the study of cells
- Confusingly, "histology" can also be used to refer to microscopic anatomy as a whole.
- Microscopic anatomy is also called "microanatomy".
Regional and systemic anatomy
- Regional anatomy:
- The study of a specific region of the body, and the relations between structures in that region.
- For example, how muscles, vessels and nerves work together to produce movement.
- It is also called "topographic anatomy".
- Systemic anatomy
- Systemic anatomy is the study of a specific organ system.
- For example, a system-wise study of the muscular system would include all the skeletal muscles of the body.