Terminologia Anatomica

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Historic 1877 drawing of pregnancy
An Atlas of Topographical Anatomy (1877)

The Terminologia Anatomica (TA) was developed by the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT) and first released in 1998, it contains about 7,500 simplified descriptive names.[1] In 2011 TA was published online by the Federative International Programme on Anatomical Terminologies (FIPAT).

Historically many names and terminology in medicine and biology were given names based upon Latin or Greek roots. In addition, many discoveries were given names (eponyms) based upon the original discoverer or by the discoverer referring to other key researchers. In the late nineteenth century this led to the confusing list of more than 50,000 terms used for various body parts. This can also mean that a single structure can be identified by a range of names to confuse the unwary student. Today many of these historic terms have been replaced in the Terminologia Anatomica with about 7,500 simplified descriptive names.

Wilhelm His attempted to standardise anatomy terminology with the Basel Nomina Anatomica (BNA, His 1895). This system was updated through a number of editions until replaced by the Nomina Anatomica (1956) and subsequently by the Terminologia Anatomica (1998).

Terminologia Histologica (TH) was later developed by the same committee and released in 2008 as a companion text to TA and contains terminology for cellular structures, tissue and organs at the microscopic level.

Links: Terminologia Anatomica | Historic Terminology | Embryology History | Embryologists | Terms | Glossary

Terminologia Anatomica Categories

There are 15 major categories in the Terminologia Anatomica, the Latin terms are shown in brackets.

Links in the sub-headings below go to the Embryology page related to the anatomical structure.

  1. A01 - General anatomy (anatomia generalis)
  2. A02 - Bones (ossa)
  3. A03 - Joints (juncturae)
  4. A04 - Muscles (musculi)
  5. A05 - Alimentary system (systema digestorium)
  6. A06 - Respiratory system (systema respiratorium)
  7. A07 - Thoracic cavity (cavitas thoracis)
  8. A08 - Urinary system (systema urinarium)
  9. A09 - Genital systems (systemata genitalia)
  10. A10 - Abdominopelvic cavity (cavitas abdominis et pelvis)
  11. A11 - Endocrine glands (glandulae endocrinae)
  12. A12 - Cardiovascular system (systema cardiovasculare)
  13. A13 - Lymphoid system (systema lymphoideum)
  14. A14 - Nervous system (systema nervosum)
  15. A15 - Sense organs (organa sensuum)
  16. A16 - The integument (integumentum commune)

A01 General anatomy

(anatomia generalis)

  1. Parts of human body
  2. Planes, lines and regions

A02 Bones


  1. Cranium
  2. Bones of cranium
  3. Vertebral column
  4. Bones of upper limb
  5. Bones of lower limb

A03 Joints


  1. Joints of skull
  2. Vertebral joints
  3. Thoracic joint
  4. Joints of pelvic girdle
  5. Joints of upper limb
  6. Joints of lower limb

A04 Muscles


  1. Muscles of head
  2. Muscles of neck
  3. Muscles of back
  4. Muscles of thorax
  5. Muscles of abdomen
  6. Muscles of upper limb
  7. Muscles of lower limb
  8. Tendon sheaths and bursae

A05 Alimentary system

(systema digestorium)

  1. Mouth
  2. Fauces (anatomy)
  3. human pharynx
  4. Oesophagus
  5. Stomach
  6. Small intestine
  7. Large intestine
  8. Liver, Gallbladder
  9. Pancreas

A06 Respiratory system

(systema respiratorium)

  1. Nose
  2. Larynx
  3. Trachea
  4. Bronchi
  5. Lungs

A07 Thoracic cavity

(cavitas thoracic)

A08 Urinary system

(systema urinarium)

  1. Kidney
  2. Ureter
  3. Urinary bladder
  4. Female urethra
  5. Male urethra

A09 Genital systems

(systemata genitalia)

  1. Female internal genitalia
  2. Female external genitalia
  3. Male internal genitalia
  4. Male external genitalia
  5. Perineum

A10 Abdominopelvic cavity

(cavitas abdominis et pelvis)

  1. Extraperitoneal space
  2. Peritoneum
    1. Mesentery
    2. Mesocolon
    3. Peritoneal attachments of liver
    4. Recesses, fossae, and folds
    5. Urogenital peritoneum

A11 Endocrine glands

(glandulae endocrinae)

  1. Pituitary gland
  2. Pineal gland
  3. Thyroid gland
  4. Parathyroid gland
  5. Suprarenal gland
  6. Pancreatic islets

A12 Cardiovascular system

(systema cardiovasculare)

  1. Heart
  2. Arteries
  3. Veins
  4. ducts

A13 Lymphoid system

(systema lymphoideum)

  1. Primary lymphoid organs
  2. Secondary lymphoid organs
  3. Regional lymph nodes

A14 Nervous system

(systema nervosum)

  1. Central nervous system
    1. Meninges
    2. Spinal cord
    3. Brain
    4. Medulla oblongata
    5. Pons
    6. Mesencephalon
    7. Cerebellum
    8. Diencephalon
    9. Telencephalon
  2. Peripheral nervous system
    1. Cranial nerves
    2. Spinal nerves
  3. Autonomic nervous system

A15 Sense organs

(organa sensuum)

  1. Olfactory organ (the nose and related structures)
  2. Eye and related structures (visual system)
  3. Ear (auditory system)
  4. Gustatory organ (the tongue and related structures)

A16 The integument

(integumentum commune)

  • Skin
  1. Subcutaneous tissue


  1. <pubmed>19486203</pubmed>

His, W. Die anatomische Nomenclatur. Nomina anatomica, Verzeichniss der von der anatomischen Gesellschaft auf ihrer IX. Versammlung in Basel angenommenen Namen (1895) Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie. Anatomische Abth., Suppl. - Bd., 1895. Internet Archive copy

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

Glossary Comments

Use this page to access brief definitions of specific embryology terms. Additional information can be accessed from links listed at the end of each definition. Glossary from the UNSW Embryology program compiled and written by Dr Mark Hill. Reference material used in preparing this glossary list includes: texts listed on page 1 "Reading" of each notes section, Department of Anatomy Publications, WWW resources from NCBI, NIH, OMIM, NHMRC (Australia), AMA (USA), Office of Rare Diseases (USA), PubMed Medline Dictionaries, MSDS, Merck Manual home edn. and WHO ART terminology (2009).

These notes are for Educational Purposes Only Please email Dr Mark Hill if you wish to make a comment about this current project.

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 12) Embryology Terminologia Anatomica. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Terminologia_Anatomica

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G