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Dr K Chaudhry
Anatomy Made Easy 
With Mnemonics

Saksham Chaudhry

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Introduction Osteology Muscular System Arthrology Cardio Vascular System
Respiratory System Digestive System Genito-Urinary System Endocrine System Nervous System
Special Sensory Organs Lymphatic System Surface Anatomy Cross Sectional Anatomy Histology
General Embryology Systemic Embryology Human Genetics AIIMS Syllabus Bibliography
Chapter 1


Chapter 01 : Introduction

Divisions of Anatomy
1. Cadaveric anatomy

(a) regional anatomy

(b) systemic anatomy


(i) skeletal system (osteology)


(ii) muscular system (myology)


(iii) articulatory system (arthrology or syndesmology)


(iv) vascular system (angiology)


(v) nervous system (neurology)


(vi) respiratory (Pulmonology)


(vii) digestive (Gastroenterology)


(viii) urogenital (Urology)


(ix) endocrine systems (endocrinology)


(x) locomotor system
2. Living Anatomy

a. inspection

b. palpation

c. percussion

d. auscultation

e. endoscopy

(i) bronchoscopy

(ii) gastroscopy

f. radiography

g. electromyography
3. Embryology (developmental anatomy)

a. ontogeny. History of development

b. phylogeny. History of evolution
4. Histology (microscopic anatomy)
5. Surface anatomy (topographic anatomy)
6. Radiographic and imaging anatomy

a. plain radiography

b. contrast radiography

c. ultra­ sound

d. computerised tomographic (CT) scans
7. Comparative anatomy
8. Physical anthropology
9. Applied anatomy (clinical anatomy)
10. Experimental anatomy
11. Genetics
History Of Anatomy

1. Egyptian Period 
Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus (1600 BC). 
(i) Recognised heart, its vessels, liver, spleen, kidneys, hypothalamus, uterus and bladder 
(ii) Blood vessels were known to emanate from the heart. 
(iii) Other vessels are described, some carrying air, some mucus
(iv) Two vessels to the right ear said to carry the "breath of life",and two to the left ear the "breath of death".[citation needed]The Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BC) features a treatise on the heart. It notes that the heart is the center of blood supply, and attached to it are vessels for every member of the body. 

2. Greek Period
a. Alcmaeon (510 BC). Correlation of Medical science and anatomical science to dissection of Animals. He identified Optical nerves and Eustachean tunes. 
b.  Empedocles (480 BC). Viewed the blood as the innate heat. He also argued the heart as the chief organ of both the vascular system and the pneumatic system. 
c. Hippocrates of Cos (circa 400 BC) 
d. Herophilus of Chalcedon (circa 300 BC)
(i) Was one of the first to dissect the human body. 
(ii) Distinguished cerebrum from cerebellum
(iii) Distinguished nerves from tendons
(iv) Distinguished arteries from veins
(v) Distinguished the motor from sensory nerves. 
(vi) Described and named the parts of eye, meninges, torcular Herophili, fourth ventricle with calamus scriptorius, hyoid bone, duodenum, prostate gland, etc. 
(vii) Wrote a book on anatomy.

3. Roman  Period (A.D.)

a. Galen of Pergamum, Asia Minor (circa 130-­200 A.D.)
(i) practised medicine at Rome. 
(ii) first experimental physiologist. 
(iii) wrote on many medical subjects like anatomy, physiology, pathology, symptomatology and treatment. 
(iv) His teachings were followed and considered as the authority on the subject for 15 centuries.

4.  Fourteenth Century
Mondino d'Luzzi (1276­-1326).
a. Italian physician, anatomist and professor of surgery at Bologna.
b. Wrote a book Anathomia which was the standard prototype of modern anatomical teaching for over a century.
c. Taught anatomy by dissection of human cadavers for which his text was used as a mannual.
d. Was the most renowned anatomist before Vesalius.

5.  Fifteenth  Century
Leonardo da Vinci of Italy (1452-1519)
a. Italian omniscent genius known as great painter, artist, architect, engineer, mathematician, geologist, and anatomist.  
b. Originator of cross­sectional anatomy.
c. Described the moderator band of the right ventricle.
d. Drawings of the things he observed with perfection and fidelity.
e. Sixty notebooks containing 500 diagrams were published in 1898

6. Sixteenth  Century
Vesalius (1514-­1564)
a. The Dutch anatomist physician born in Brussels, Netherland now in Belgium.
b. Professor of anatomy at Padua University in Italy.
c. Famous for book  De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (On the Fabric of the Human Body), in seven volumes, dominated for two centuries.
d. Founder of modern anatomy because; preaching that anatomy could be learnt only through dissections.
e. Opposed and corrected the philosophy of Galen making anatomy free from Galen's concepts, after a deadlock of about 15 centuries.
Vesalius studied first at Louvain and then at Paris under Gunther and Sylvius.
Eustachius was the rival of Vesalius.
The other anatomists of sixteenth century were  Servetus, Columbus, Fallopius, Varolio, Vidiu.

7. Seventeenth Century
William Harvey (1578-­ 1657)
a. English physician who described systemic circulation of blood completely and in detail.
b. Published it as Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals.
c. Published a book on embryology
d. Appointed Lumleian lectureship to lecture all over England for 7 years. His lecture notes are still preserved. 

Other events of seventeenth century :-
a. First recorded human dissection in 1638 in Massachusetts
b. Foundation of microscopic anatomy by Malpighi
c. Introduction of alcohol as a preservative.
8.  Eighteenth Century
William Hunter (1718-­1783)
 Scottish anatomist physician. He introduced the present day embalming with the help of Harvey's discovery, and founded with his younger brother (John Hunter) the famous Hunterian museum.

9.  Nineteenth Century

Dissection by medical students was made compulsory in Edinburgh (1826) and Maryland (1833). Burke and Hare scandal of 16 murders took place in Edinburgh in 1828. Warburton Anatomy Act (1932) was passed in England under which the unclaimed bodies were made available for dissection . The ' A c t ' was passed in America (Massachusetts) in 1831. Formalin was used as a fixative in 1890s.

X­rays were discovered by Roentgen in 1895. Various endoscopes were devised between 1819 and 1899. The anatomical societies were founded in Germany (1886), Britain (1887) and America (1888).

The noted anatomists of this century include Ashley Cooper (1768-­1841; British surgeon), Cuvier (1769­1832; French naturalist), Meckel (1724­1774; German anatomist), and Henry Gray (1827­1861; the author of Gray's Anatomy).

10. Twentieth  Century

The electron microscope was invented in 20th century. It was applied in clinical practice, which made startling changes in the study of normal and diseased conditions. Various modifications of electron microscope, transmission EM and SEM, etc. were devised. These helped in better understanding of the body tissues.

Besides plain X­rays, in this century, ultrasonography and echocardiography were discovered. This was the non­invasive safe­procedure.

Also computer­axial tomography or CT scan, a non­invasive procedure and magnetic resonance imaging were devised. These were extremely useful, sensitive means of understanding the dynamics of body structure in health and disease.

Tissue culture was developed which was new and exciting field of research.

New advances in cases of infertility were discovered, which gave hopes to some infertile couples. GIFT: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer got started

11. Twenty First Century

Foetal medicine is emerging as a newer subject. Even treatment 'in­utero' is being practised in some cases.

Human genome is being prepared.

New research in drugs for many diseases, especially AIDS, is being done very enthusiastically. There is also a strong possibility of gene therapy.

Indian Anatomists

Dr. Inderjit Dewan worked chiefly on osteology and anthropology.

Dr. D.S. Choudhry did notable work on carotid body.

Dr. H. Chaterjee and Dr. H. Verma researched on embryology.

Dr. S.S. Dayal did good work in cancer biology.

Dr. Shamer Singh and his team did pioneering work on teratology.

Dr. Chaturvedi and Dr. C.D. Gupta's prominent work was on corrosion cast.

Dr. L.V. Chako, Dr. H.N. Keswani, Dr. Veena Bijlani, Dr. Gopinath, Dr. Shashi Wadhwa of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, researched on neuroanatomy.

Dr. Keswani and his team established museum of history of medicine.

Dr. A.K. Susheela of AIIMS, New Delhi, has done profound work on fluorosis.

Dr. M.C. Vaidya was well known for his work on leprosy and HLA.

Dr. I.B. Singh of Rohtak did enlightening studies on histology. He has been author of several books in anatomy.

Dr. A.K. Dutta of West Bengal has authored many books on anatomy.

Amongst the medical educationists are Dr. Sita Achaya, Dr. Ved Prakash, Dr. Basu, Dr. M. Kaul, Dr. Chandrama Anand, Dr. Indira Bahl, Dr. Rewa Choudhry, Dr. Smita Kakar, Dr. Anita Tuli, Dr. Shashi Raheja, Dr. Ram Prakash, Dr. Veena Bharihoke, Dr. Madhur Gupta, Dr. J.M. Kaul, Dr. Shipra Paul, Dr. Dharamnarayan, Dr. A.C. Das, Dr. A. Halim, Dr. D.R. Singh and many others.

Dr. Swarna Bhardwaj, an educationist, was appointed as Executive Director of "DNB office" and has brought the institution to forefront.

Dr. Harish Agarwal, an anatomist, worked in jurisprudence for a number of years.

Dr. Cooper of Chennai, Dr. M. Thomas and Dr. Kiran Kucheria did commendable work on genetics.

Dr. Mehdi Hasan and Dr. Nafis Ahmad Faruqi did pioneering research in neuroanatomy.


Galen (2nd century) wrote his book in Greek and Vesalius (16th century) did it in Latin. Most of the anatomical terms, therefore, are either in Greek or Latin. By 19th century about 30,000 anatomical terms were in use in the books and journals. In 1895, the German Anatomical Society held a meeting in Basle, and approved a list of about 5000 terms known as Basle Nomina Anatomica (BNA). The following six rules were laid down to be followed strictly: (1) Each part shall have only one name; (2) each term shall be in Latin; (3) each term shall be as short and simple as possible; (4) the terms shall be merely memory signs;

the related terms shall be similar, e.g. femoral artery, femoral vein, and femoral nerve; and (6) the adjectives shall be arranged as opposites, e.g. major and minor, superior and inferior.

BNA was revised in 1933 by a committee of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland in a meeting held at Birmingham. The revised BNA was named as Birmingham Revision (BR). An independent revision of the BNA was also done by German anatomists in 1935, and was known as Jena Nomina Anatomica (JNA or INA). However, the BR and IN A found only local and restricted acceptance.

In 1950, it was agreed at an International Congress of Anatomists held at Oxford that a further attempt should be made to establish a generally acceptable international nomenclature. In the Sixth International Congress of Anatomists held at Paris (1955), a somewhat conservative revision of BNA with many terms from BR and INA was approved. Minor revisions and corrections were made at the International Congresses held in New York (1960), and Wiesbaden, Germany (1965), and the 3rd edition of Nomina Anatomica (Ed. G.A.G. Mitchell, 1968) was published by the Excerpta Medica Foundation.

The drafts on Nomina Histologica and Nomina Embryologica prepared by the subcommittee of the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee (IANC) were approved in a plenary session of the Eleventh International Congress ofAnatomists held in Leningrad in 1970. After a critical revision, the 4th edition of Nomina Anatomica (Ed. Roger Warwick, 1977) containing Nomina Histologica and Nomina Embryologica was published by the same publisher.

Body planes and sections

Sagittal plane. Divides the body into right and left half.

Mid sagittal plane: - divides body into equal left and right halves.

Para sagittal plane: - divides body into unequal left and right
Frontal plane: - divides the body into asymmetrical antererior and posterior sections.
Transverse plane: - divides the body into upper and lower body section.
Oblique plane: - divides the body obliquely into upper and lower section.

Body Cavities



Cephalic cavity

Contains brain

Vertebral canal

Contains the spinal cord

Thoracic cavity

Houses lung and heart.

Protected by the rib cage and associated musculature, and the sternum anteriorly.

Consists of the right and left pleural cavities and mediastinum

Abdomino-pelvic cavity

Extends from the diaphragm inferior to the floor of the pelvis.

Divided into superior abdominal and inferior pelvic cavity by imaginary line passing at upper pelvis.

Abdominal cavity contains the stomach, intestine, liver, spleen and gallbladder.

Pelvic cavity contains urinary bladder, rectum, and portions of the reproductive organs.

Basic living structural and functional unit of the body
Branch of science concerned with a study of cells

Cell Theory explains about

All living organisms are composed of cell and cell products.

Cell is the basic unit of structure & function of all living organisms.

All cells come from the division of pre existing cell.

An organism as a whole can be understood through the collective activities & interactions of its cells.

General principles

  1. Principle of polarity: 
Polarity is reflected mainly in the formal and functional contrast between the head (predominantly spherical form) and the extremities (radially arranged skeletal elements). In the phylogenetic development of the upright position of the human body, polarity developed also among the extremities: The lower extremities provide the basis for locomotion whereas the upper extremities are not needed anymore for locomotion, so they can be used for gesture, manual and artistic activities.

2. The principle of segmentation: This principle dominates in the trunk. The anatomical structures (vertebrae, pairs of ribs, muscles, and nerves) are arranged segmentally and replicate rhythmically in a similar way.

3. The principle of bilateral symmetry: Both sides of the body are separated by a midsagittal plane and resemble each other like image and mirror-image. 

Regional lines
Parasternal line
Midclavicular line
Anterior axillary line
Umbilical-pelvic line

Body Organs

1 Brain
2 Lung
3 Diaphragm
4 Heart
5 Liver
6 Stomach
7 Colon
8 Small intestine
9 Testis
10 Kidney
11 Ureter
12 Anal canal
13 Clavicle
14 Manubrium sterni
15 Costal arch
16 Umbilicus
17 Anterior superior iliac spine
18 Inguinal ligament
19 Scapular spine
20 Spinous processes
21 Iliac crest
22 Coccyx and sacrum





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