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Lecture 1

Human Body Terminology and Orientation

Anatomy: is the study of structure and the relationships among structures.

1) Chemical level: includes atoms, the smallest units of material that participate in
chemical reactions, and molecules, two or more atoms joined together.

2) The cellular level: the cells are the basic structural and functional units of an
organism and are the smallest living units in the human body (muscle cells, nerve
cells and blood cells).

3) Tissue level: tissues are groups of cells and the materials surrounding them that
work together to perform a particular function. There are 4 basic types of tissues in
the body: epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue.

4) The Organs: are structures composed of two or more different types of tissues,
they have specific function and usually have recognizable shapes (stomach, liver
and lungs).

5) The system level: consists of related organs that have a common function
(digestive system).

6) The organismal level: organism is any living individual.

• Integumentary system: the skin and structures derived from it such as hair, nails
and sweat and oil glands, its functions are :
1- protects the body.
2- regulate the body temperature .
3- eliminates some wastes
4- sensation.
Levels of body organization:

The principal systems of human body:

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• Skeletal system: all bones and joints of the body and their associated cartilages.

• Muscular system: refers specifically to skeletal muscle tissue, which is muscle
attached to the bone. Other muscle tissue types are smooth and cardiac muscles.

• Cardiovascular system: Blood, heart and blood vessels.

• Lymphatic and Immune system: lymph, lymphatic vessels and structures or organs
containing lymphatic tissue such as spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and tonsils.

• Nervous system: brain, spinal cord, nerves and special sense organs such as the
eyes and ear.

• Endocrine system: all hormone-producing cells and glands such as the pituitary
and thyroid glands and pancreas.

• Respiratory System: lungs and the airways leading into and out of them (pharynx,
larynx, trachea, bronchus and lungs).

• Digestive system: organs of gastrointestinal tract, a long tube that includes the
mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine, and the anus.

• Urinary system: kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra that together
produce, store and eliminate urine.

• Reproductive system: Gonads (testes or ovaries) and associated organs:
uterinetubes, uterus, and vagina in females and epididymis, ductus deferens, and
penis in males.

• Anatomical position: the subject stands erect facing the observer, with the head
level and the eyes facing directly forward. The feet are flat on the floor and
directed forward, and the arms are at the sides with the palms turned forward.

The basic anatomical Terminology:

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• Prone position: if the body is lying face down.

• Supine position: if the body is lying face up.

• Regional Names:
- The principal regions are the head, neck, trunk, upper limp and the lower limbs.

- The head consists of skull (encloses and protects the brain) and face (is the anterior
portion of the head).
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- The neck supports the head and attached to the trunk.

- The trunk consists of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

- Each upper limb (extremity) is attached to the trunk and consists of the shoulder,
armpit, arm (from shoulder to elbow), forearm (from elbow to wrist), wrist, and

- Each lower limb is also attached to the trunk and consists of buttock, thigh, leg,
ankle, and foot.

- The groin is an area on the anterior surface of the body marked by a crease on each
side where the trunk is attached to the thighs.


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The names of the major parts of the body and their corresponding form (adjective)
for each part:

Head Cephalic Upper limb
Skull cranial Armpit Axillary
Face Facial Arm Brachial
Forehead Frontal Front of elbow Antecubital
Eye Orbital Forearm Antebrachial
Ear Otic Wrist Carpal
cheek Buccal palm Palmar
Nose Nasal Fingers
Digital or
Chin Mental Bach of elbow Olecranal
Neck cervical Lower limb
Trunk Thigh Femoral
Chest Thoracic
Anterior surface
of knee
Navel Umbilical
Posterior surface
of knee
Groin Inguinal leg Crural
Pubis Pubic calf Sural
abdomen abdominal ankle Tarsal
Pelvis Pelvic heel Calcaneal
hip Coxal Top of foot Dorsum
loin Lumbar sole Plantar
Btw hips Sacral toes
buttock gluteal

Digital or

• Sagittal plane (midsagittal or median plane): is a vertical plane that divides the
body or organ into right and left sides or halves, passes through the midline of the
body and divides into equal R & L sides.

• Parasagittal plane: not pass through the midline and divides the body or organ
into unequal R & L sides.
Planes and Sections:

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• Frontal (Coronal) plane: divides the body into anterior (front) and posterior
(back) portions.

• Transverse (horizontal or cross sectional) plane: divides the body or organ into
superior (upper) and inferior (lower) portions.
- All of them are at right angles to each others.

• An oblique plane: passes through the body or organ at an angle between the
transverse plane and either a sagittal or frontal plane.

- Each one above gives us section view, meaning that we look at only one flat surface of
three dimensional structures.

- They are words describe the position of one body part relative to another.

Superior (cranial or cephalic): toward the head, or the upper part of the structure.
Inferior (caudal): away from the head, or the lower part of the structure.

Directional Terms:

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Anterior (ventral): nearer to or at the front of the body.
Posterior (dorsal): nearer to or at the back of the body.

Medial: nearer to the midline or midsagittal plane.
Lateral: farther from the midline or sagittal plane.
Intermediate: between two structures.

Ipsilateral: on the same side of the body as another structure.
Contralateral: on the opposite side of the body from another structure.

Proximal: nearer to the attachment of a limb to the trunk, nearer to the point of

Distal: farther from the attachment of a limb to the trunk, farther from the point of

Superficial: toward or on the surface of the body.
Deep: away from the surface of the body.

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- They are spaces within the body that help protect, separate, and support internal

- Bones, muscles and ligaments separate the various body cavities from one another.
Body cavities and their membranes
Cavity divisions subdivisions definition Contents
Formed by cranial bone and
contains brain and its coverings.
Formed by vertebral column and
contains spinal cord.
Two Pleural
Each surrounds a lung, the serous
membrane of the pleural cavities
is the pleura
Surrounds the heart, the serous
membrane of the pericardial
cavity is the pericardium. Thoracic
Central region of the thoracic
cavity between the pleural cavities
extends from sternum to vertebral
column and from neck to
Contains stomach, spleen, liver,
gallbladder, small intestine, and
most of large intestine, the serous
membrane of the abdominal
cavity is peritoneum.
Contains urinary bladder. Portions
of large intestine, and internal
organs of reproduction.

- The Dorsal body cavity: is located near the dorsal (posterior) surface of the body
and has two subdivisions (cranial and vertebral).
Body Cavities:

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- The Ventral body cavity: is located on the ventral (anterior) aspect of the body.

- The Diaphragm: is the large dome-shaped muscle that powers lung expansion
during breathing and it forms the floor of the thoracic cavity and the roof of the
abdominopelvic cavity.

- The Viscera: are the organs inside the ventral body cavity.

- The thoracic cavity: is encircled by the ribs, the muscles of the chest, the sternum
(breastbone), and the backbone.

- The Mediastinum: is the central portion of thoracic cavity, it is located between
the pleural cavities and extends from the sternum and the vertebral column, and
from the neck to the diaphragm. It contains all thoracic viscera except the lungs

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Thoracic and abdominal cavity Membranes:
- Serous membrane: is a thin, slippery membrane, covers the viscera of the within
thoracic and abdominal cavities and lines the wall of the thorax and abdomen.
- The parts of a serous membrane are:
• The parietal layer, which lines the wall of the cavity.
• The visceral layer, which covers and adheres to the viscera within the cavities.
• Serous fluid between the two layer reduces friction, allowing the viscera to slide
somewhat during movements.
- The serous membranes are:
1. Pleura: consists of parietal pleura (lines the wall of chest) and visceral
pleura (lines the surface of the lungs), and between them is the pleural
2. Pericardium: the same but as above but covers the heart.

3. Peritoneum:

- It is the serous membrane of the abdominal cavity. The visceral peritoneum covers the
abdominal viscera, whereas the parietal peritoneum lines the abdominal wall.
- Between them is the peritoneal cavity.

-Most of abdominal organs are located in the peritoneal cavity, but some are
located behind the parietal peritoneum (they are between it and the posterior
abdominal wall.

- Such organs are said to be retroperitoneal (kidneys, adrenal glands,
pancreas, duodenum of small intestine, ascending and descending colons of
large intestine, and portions of the abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava.
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- To describe the location many human abdominal and pelvic organs more easily, we use
two methods of dividing the abdominopelvic cavity into smaller compartments.

- The first method, two transverse and two horizontal lines, partition this cavity into nine

• The subcostal line (top transverse) is drawn just inferior to the rib cage, across the
inferior portion of the stomach.
• The transtubercular line (bottom transverse) is drawn just inferior to the tops of the
hip bones.
• The right and left midclavicular (two vertical) lines are drawn through the
midpoints of the clavicles (collar bones) just medial to the nipples.

Abdominopelvic region Regions an

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-The name of these regions and the structures found in each region:
Right Lumbar
Left Lumbar
Right Iliac
(inguinal) region
(pubic) region
Left Iliac
(inguinal) region

1-Right lobe of the
2- gallbladder
3-upper superior
third of right kidney
1-Left lobe and medial
part of right lobe of liver,
2- pyloric and lesser
curvature of stomach,
3- Duodenum,
4- Body and superior part
of head of pancreas,
5- Right and left adrenal
1-Body and fundus of
2- Spleen.
3- Left colic flexure.
4- Superior two thirds
of left kidney.
4- The tail of pancreas.
1-Superior part of
2- Ascending colon,
3- right colic
4- inferior portion
of right kidney,
5- Part of small
1-Middle portion of
transverse colon.
2- Part of small intestine.
3- Bifurcations of
abdominal aorta and
inferior vena cava.
1- Descending colon.
2- Inferior of left
3- Part of small
1-Lower end of the
2- Appendix.
3- Part of small
1- Urinary bladder when
2- Small intestine.
3- Part of sigmoid colon.
1- Junction of
descending and
sigmoid parts of colon
2-part of small

- The second method is simpler and divides the abdominopelvic cavity into four

- The transverse plane and midsagittal plane are passed through the umbilicus or belly

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-The names of these quadrants are:
1. Right upper quadrant (RUQ).
2. Left upper quadrant (LUQ).
3. Right lower quadrant (RLQ).
4. Left lower quadrant (LLQ).

The End

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