Terminologia Anatomica

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 11 Mar 2020

The Terminologia Anatomica (TA) is the global standard for correct gross anatomical nomenclature in humans 1. The second edition was published by the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology in 2019 4

The standard anatomical terms are from Latin and Ancient Greek roots. The English edition of the Terminologia Anatomica provides the accepted British English equivalent for each term and also indicates where the American English spelling is different (with a small triangle symbol in the text), but does not provide the alternate American English spelling 2. The text states that both British and American English are acceptable for scientific usage. The Terminologia Anatomica is issued in many different foreign language editions.

The companion standards for histological and embryological nomenclature respectively were published approximately a decade after the Terminologia Anatomica. The Terminologia Histologica (TH) was published in 2008, and the Terminologia Embryologica (TE) was published in 2013; a second edition of the TE was published in 2017. The Terminologia Neuroanatomica (TNA) was published in 2016 3.

The various "Terminologias" can be reviewed online for free at a site run by FIPAT, the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology, which is hosted by Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. In 2009 the FIPAT replaced the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT) 5.

The Terminologia Anatomica is used as the ultimate arbiter as to what constitutes correct anatomical nomenclature on Radiopaedia.org.

History and etymology

The first edition of the Terminologia Anatomica was published in 1998 following revision of the previous Nomina Anatomica, which it replaces. It was a consensus standard developed by the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT) under the supervision of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA).

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