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Anatomy suffixes?

Anatomy suffixes?


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Here are some suffixes I want to know their meaning:

-ium: trapezium (carpal bone)
-ius: trapezius (column muscle)
-ous: Talous and calcanous (tarsal bone)
-alis: Acromialis, Ulnaris (shoulder proccess and bone of forearm)
-ate: Capitate, Hamate, lunate (carpal bones)

What is the difference between tuber and tubercle?

How to know where to use these suffixes, they are randomly given or it has to do with location or something?


These names originate from latin [1].

  • -ium is the second declension of a noun in accusative (trapezium refers to a bone thus is a noun)
  • -ius is a genitive adjective suffix (trapezius is the name of a muscle thus being an adjective)
  • you have written them wrong: talus and calcaneus is correct. They are both nominative nouns.
  • there is no -alis suffix; it is either -is or -lis. They are adjective suffixes.
  • there is no -ate suffix. Those are nouns.

Tuber is the latin word for tuberosity. It is the quality or condition of a tubercle (adjective) [2].

References:

  1. Wikipedia, Latin declension
  2. The Free Dictionary by Farlex, Tubercle

Skeletal System Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes

Go to the following link, read the site and answer the questions below:


Write down the meaning for the following components and give an example of when you would use the component. You must use a different word than the word given as an example on the site.

Example "ology", meaning: study of as in "biology" meaning the study of life.

arthr-
chondr-
cost-
osteo-
scolio-
-lysis
-osis
-tomy

7 comments:

arthr- meaning: joints as in "arthritis" inflammation of joints or joints.

chondr- meaning: cartilage as in "chondriosome," an organelle in the cytoplasm.

cost: meaning: rib as in in "costoclavicular," relating to the ribs and clavicle.

osteo- meaning: bone as in "osteometry," measurements of bones

scolio- meaning: twisted or crooked as in "scoliosis" an abnormal lateral curve to the vertebral bone.

lysis- meaning: Breaking down, loosening as in "paralysis," loss of sensation in a region in the body.

osis- meaning: a state of disease as in "neurosis," a mental disorder marked by anxiety or fear.

tomy- meaning: a cutting of as in "gastrotomy," operation of cutting into the stomach.

1."arthr", meaning: joint as in "arthritis" meaning inflammation of the bone.

2."chondr", meaning: cartilage as in "chondrocyte" meaning a cartilage cell.

3."cost", meaning: rib as in "costalgia" meaning pain in the ribs.

4."osteo", meaning: bone as in a type of bone tumor.

5."scolio", meaning:curved/crooked as in "scoliosis" meaning curvature of the spine.

6."lysis", meaning:disintegration as in osteomyelitis meaning inflammation of the bone.

7."osis" ,meaning: disease as in osteoporosis meaning reduced bone mass-fracture prone.

8."tomy", meaning: incision into as in thoracotomy meaning incision into chest/thorax

arthr-joint= Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-the median nerve is compressed at the wrist.

chondr-cartilage= Osteoarthritis- thinned cartilageee

cost-rib= Costochondritis- syndrome usually affects the second rib followed by the third and fourth.

osteo-bone= Osteoporosis-reduced bone mass-fracture prone

scholio-curved/crooked=Kyphosis- deformities of the spine.

lysis-disintegration= Chemolysis- decomposition of organic substances throught the use of chemical agents.

osis-disease=Zygomycosis- infection caused by fungi.

tomy-incision into= Lobotomy-cutting of the nerve tracts in the frontal lobes of the brain.

Arthr- Joint "Arthral"- relation or relating to a joint.

Chondr- Cartilage "Chondrial bone"- bone that forms under the periosteal membrane.

Cost- rib "Costage"- Expense Cost.

Osteo- bone "Osteopathy"- a system of healing based on the manipulation of bones or other parts of the body.

Scolio- Corved/Crooked "scoliotic"- an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, of congenital origin or caused by trauma or disease of the vertebrae or hipbones.

Lysis- disintegration "Lysistrata"- an anti-war Greek comedy.

Osis- disease "metamorphosis"- Change of body or form.

Tomy- incision into "Anatomy"- The study of the structure of the body and the relationship between its parts.

arthr- meaning joint. Athropology study of joints.

chondr- meaning cartilage.Chondroma artilaginous growth or tumor.

cost- meaning rib. Costal pertaining to the ribs.

osteo-meaning bone. Osteoarthritis a type of arthritis.

scolio-meaning curved/crooked. Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side.

-lysis - meaning disintegration. Hemolysis breaking open of red blood cells.

-osis - meaning disease. Tuberculosis infectious disease caused by mycobacteria.

-tomy - meaning incision into. Mastectomy the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.

Arthr- Joint "Arthral"- relation or relating to a joint.

Chondr- Cartilage "Chondrial bone"- bone that forms under the periosteal membrane.

Cost- rib "Costage"- Expense Cost.

Osteo- bone "Osteopathy"- a system of healing based on the manipulation of bones or other parts of the body.

Scolio- Corved/Crooked "scoliotic"- an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, of congenital origin or caused by trauma or disease of the vertebrae or hipbones.

Lysis- disintegration "Lysistrata"- an anti-war Greek comedy.

Osis- disease "metamorphosis"- Change of body or form.

Tomy- incision into "Anatomy"- The study of the structure of the body and the relationship between its parts.


Anatomical Position

To further increase precision, anatomists standardize the way in which they view the body. Just as maps are normally oriented with north at the top, the standard body “map,” or anatomical position, is that of the body standing upright, with the feet at shoulder width and parallel, toes forward. The upper limbs are held out to each side, and the palms of the hands face forward as illustrated in Figure 1. Using this standard position reduces confusion. It does not matter how the body being described is oriented, the terms are used as if it is in anatomical position. For example, a scar in the “anterior (front) carpal (wrist) region” would be present on the palm side of the wrist. The term “anterior” would be used even if the hand were palm down on a table.

Figure 1. Regions of the Human Body. The human body is shown in anatomical position in an (a) anterior view and a (b) posterior view. The regions of the body are labeled in boldface.

A body that is lying down is described as either prone or supine. Prone describes a face-down orientation, and supine describes a face up orientation. These terms are sometimes used in describing the position of the body during specific physical examinations or surgical procedures.


Anatomical and Medical Prefixes and Suffixes

Learning anatomy for the first time can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Students often not only have a large amount of content to learn, but also struggle to make meaning of the language associated with that content. The wonderful thing about this language however, is that in many cases, the names of anatomy related content are incredibly helpful if you just understand that often the words can be broken down into different parts that have meanings. For example, the subclavian artery. The name tells you of its location and hints also at the path of this blood vessel. Sub – meaning below, clavian – relating to the collarbone or in anatomical terms, the clavicle. Another example, arthr – meaning joint, and itis – meaning inflammation. There are numerous examples like these!

Often parts of a word that have different meanings will be linked together. For example, brachioradialis, a muscle in the arm, can be broken down into two parts that have meaning, and a linking vowel, in this case ‘o’. Brachi meaning arm, and radialis referring to one of the bones in the forearm, the radius. The linking vowel is most commonly ‘o’, but other vowels may also be used to link parts of a word together.

To make learning this language easier, this article takes some of the more commonly used prefixes and suffixes, puts them into categories and then provides the meaning, and examples. For instance, in the previous two examples, ‘sub’ would be found in the location-related category, and ‘arthr’ would be found in the body region-related category. Within each category, the prefixes will be listed in alphabetical order.


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Anatomy

Learning how to draw is one thing, but learning how to draw anatomy is a whole other ballpark.

“The thing that jumps out to me about mythical anatomy is how idealized their anatomies are,” says Lali DeRosier.

He moved on to the University of Bonn as professor of anatomy and physiology, although he wasn’t very good at anatomy and shifted his attention to the physics of whirlpools in fluids.

A young Yale University paleontologist, however, now maintains that the anatomy of the Brontosaurus points clearly to a life on land.

It has been the focus of scientific inquiry, with experts determining that its association with women’s anatomy is to blame for people’s aversion to it.

The goal is to create a literary anatomy of the last century—or, to be precise, from 1900 to 2014.

They are the parts of the female anatomy so often the object of fantasies.

Saul Bass, the greatest designer of movie title sequences ( Anatomy of a Murder, The Man with the Golden Arm) in Hollywood history.

Morbid Anatomy , with Ebenstein at the helm, seems to do it all, from publishing books to leading international trips.

Entering Morbid Anatomy from an unremarkable, industrial street in Brooklyn, its ground-floor coffee shop/bookstore is buzzing.

Quaint old Burton in his " Anatomy of Melancholy," recognizes the virtues of the plant while he anathematizes its abuse.

In the whole of anatomy there is no task so difficult as that of learning the precise attachments of the muscles of the back.

A celebrated Coach in Anatomy says that no one can learn Anatomy until he has learned and forgotten it from three to seven times!

Even in the details of anatomy some long-vanished character suddenly appears.

The anatomy is different, and the light falls on different textures, but the principle is not changed.


Anatomy

adip - adipose- fat-(Compsosed of animal fat) The food that we ate was composed of alot of adipose even after we had cleaned it.

bio - biopsy- life-(Examination of tissues or liquids from the living body to determine the existence or cause of a disease.) Before they had his funeral, they did a biopsy of his body to find out if he died from a disease.

capit - decapitate- head-(Cut the head of "the French King was beheaded during the Revolution".) Back in the roman times a form fo death and punishment was decapitation.

cephal -cephalad- head-(Forwards towards the head or anterior extremity of the body opposed to caudad.) As the disease moved through the body, it moved in a caudad direction.

corp- corpus- body-(The main part of an organ or other bodily structure.) Every part of the body attaches to the corpus)

crani -cranium- skull-(The part of the skull that encloses the brain.) The cranium part if the body sits on the top of the shoulders)
dent -dental- tooth-(Of or relating to the teeth "dental floss".) In order to keep your teeth healthy, it is wise for you to get a dental check-up atleast 3 times a year.

hist -histology- tissue-(The branch of biology that studies the microscopic structure of animal or plant tissues.) In college, i hope to study histology and learn more abot the tissues of the body.

later -lateral- side-(Lying away from the median and sagittal plane of a body "lateral lemniscus".) When you are standing in the atomical postition your arms are laying lateral from the body.

ocul -oculist- eye- (A person skilled in testing for defects of vision in order to prescribe corrective glasses.) When i went to get my contacts, i had to go and see an oculist.

oste -osteoblast- bone- (A cell from which bone develops.) My little sister has osteoblast, that is why she has more bones than needed.

phag -phagocyte- eat- ( A cell that engulfs and digests debris and invading microorganisms) It is good that we have phagocytes because it prevents us from getting sick.

pleur- pleura- side- (The thin serous membrane around the lungs and inner walls of the chest.) The pleura helps the lungs from getting infected and making you sick.

quad - quadriceps- four-(A muscle of the thigh that extends the leg.) When you excerise you will feel the quadriceps in your leg tighten.

stern -sternum- chest- (The flat bone that articulates with the clavicles and the first seven pairs of ribs) The sternum is located in the mid part of the body.

ab - abduct- away from-(Pull away from the body, of muscles.) When you have a torn ligament, the bone is torn from the bone.

ad - adrenal- toward-(Of or pertaining to the adrenal glands or their secretions.) When you get excited or over worked you can feel the adrenalen kick in.

angi - angiograph- vessel- (Roentgenographic examination of blood vessels after injection of a radiopaque contrast medium produces an angiogram.) When you get your blood vessels examined you get and angiograph.

auto - autograft- self- (Tissue that is taken from one site and grafted to another site on the same person "skin from his thigh replaced the burned skin on his arms".) After my grandma had 3rd degree burns, they had to perform an autograft on her leg to replace the skin on her arm.

centi - centimeter- hundred- (A metric unit of length equal to one hundredth of a meter.) When i measured my fence i used centimeters for the measurements.

circum - circumflex- around- (A diacritical mark (^) placed above a vowel in some languages to indicate a special phonetic quality.) Our blood is a circumflex muscle.

dextro -dextrad- right-(Toward the right side dextrally) I consider the right side of my body to be dexatrad.

epi - epigastric- upon- (Of or relating to the anterior walls of the abdomen "epigastric artery".) The epigastric is located near the stomach.

ex - excision- out of-(Surgical removal of a body part or tissue.) Some people have excisions because they don't like some parts of their body.

inter -interrenal- between-(In between "two houses with a tree between".) Your stomach is loacted between yor anterior and posterior.

non -nonviable- not-(Not capable of living or developing successfully.) Most people think that bacteria is nonviable, but it is.

ortho - orthopedic- straight-(Of or relating to or employed in orthopedics "orthopedic shoes".) Some times i have to go and see the orthopedics for my ankles.

path -pathology- disease-( The branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases.) At GSU, my sister is taking up the pathology to learn how the body gets infected with different diseases.

pseudo -psuedopod- false-(Temporary outgrowth used by some microorganisms as an organ of feeding or locomotion.) Some baterias have pseudopods to help them get around.

sinistro -sinistrad- left-(Toward the left side sinistrally.) I consider the left side of my body to be sinistrad.

cide -aborticide- kill-(The act of destroying a fetus.) Some women have abortions which consist of getting a aborticide to kill there babies.

itis - hepatitis- in flame-(Inflammation of the liver caused by a virus or a toxin.)When some people get hepatitis they have to go to the hospital.

logy - histology- study of- (The branch of biology that studies the microscopic structure of animal or plant tissues.) I think that histology would be a good subject to take up in college.

meter -pedometer- measure-(Measuring instrument for recording the number of steps taken in walking) We thought that it would be better to use pedometers to measure a fence.

plasty -osteoplasty- formed-(An operation or process by which the total or partial loss of a bone is remedied.) When peoples bones start to deterioate they have to have an osteoplasty.

scope- otoscope- examine- (Medical instrument consisting of a magnifying lens and light used for examining the external ear (the auditory meatus and especially the tympanic membrane) When i go to the doctor they use and otoscope to look in my ear.


Historical background

Evidence that prehistoric humans appreciated the form and structure of their contemporary animals has survived in the form of paintings on the walls of caves in France, Spain, and elsewhere. During the early civilizations of China, Egypt, and the Middle East, as humans learned to domesticate certain animals and to cultivate many fruits and grains, they also acquired knowledge about the structures of various plants and animals.

Aristotle was interested in biological form and structure, and his Historia animalium contains excellent descriptions, clearly recognizable in extant species, of the animals of Greece and Asia Minor. He was also interested in developmental morphology and studied the development of chicks before hatching and the breeding methods of sharks and bees. Galen was among the first to dissect animals and to make careful records of his observations of internal structures. His descriptions of the human body, though they remained the unquestioned authority for more than 1,000 years, contained some remarkable errors, for they were based on dissections of pigs and monkeys rather than of humans.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the emergence of modern morphology as a science, one of the early landmarks was the publication in 1543 of De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius, whose careful dissections of human bodies and accurate drawings of his observations revealed many of the inaccuracies in Galen’s earlier descriptions of the human body.

In 1661 an Italian physiologist, Marcello Malpighi, the founder of microscopic anatomy, demonstrated the presence of the small blood vessels called capillaries, which connect arteries and veins. The existence of capillaries had been postulated 30 years earlier by English physician William Harvey, whose classic experiments on the direction of blood flow in arteries and veins indicated that minute connections must exist between them. Between 1668 and 1680, Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used the recently invented microscope to describe red blood cells, human sperm cells, bacteria, protozoans, and various other structures.

Cellular components—the nucleus and nucleolus of plant cells and the chromosomes within the nucleus—and the complex sequence of nuclear events (mitosis) that occur during cell division were described by various scientists throughout the 19th century. Organographie der Pflanzen (1898–1901 Organography of Plants, 1900–05), the great work of a German botanist, Karl von Goebel, who was associated with morphology in all its aspects, remains a classic in the field. British surgeon John Hunter and French zoologist Georges Cuvier were early 19th-century pioneers in the study of similar structures in different animals—i.e., comparative morphology. Cuvier in particular was among the first to study the structures of both fossils and living organisms and is credited with founding the science of paleontology. A British biologist, Sir Richard Owen, developed two concepts of basic importance in comparative morphology—homology, which refers to intrinsic structural similarity, and analogy, which refers to superficial functional similarity. Although the concepts antedate the Darwinian view of evolution, the anatomical data on which they were based became, largely as a result of the work of German comparative anatomist Carl Gegenbaur, important evidence in favour of evolutionary change, despite Owen’s steady unwillingness to accept the view of diversification of life from a common origin.

One of the major thrusts in contemporary morphology has been the elucidation of the molecular basis of cellular structure. Techniques such as electron microscopy have revealed the complex details of cell structure, provided a basis for relating structural details to the particular functions of the cell, and shown that certain cellular components occur in a variety of tissues. Studies of the smallest components of cells have clarified the structural basis not only for the contraction of muscle cells but also for the motility of the tail of the sperm cell and the hairlike projections (cilia and flagella) found on protozoans and other cells. Studies involving the structural details of plant cells, although begun somewhat later than those concerned with animal cells, have revealed fascinating facts about such important structures as the chloroplasts, which contain chlorophyll that functions in photosynthesis. Attention has also been focused on the plant tissues composed of cells that retain their power to divide (meristems), particularly at the tips of stems, and their relationship with the new parts to which they give rise. The structural details of bacteria and blue-green algae, which are similar to each other in many respects but markedly different from both higher plants and animals, have been studied in an attempt to determine their origin.

Morphology continues to be of importance in taxonomy because morphological features characteristic of a particular species are used to identify it. As biologists have begun to devote more attention to ecology, the identification of plant and animal species present in an area and perhaps changing in numbers in response to environmental changes has become increasingly significant.


It functions consist of absorption and secretion (enzymes, mucus, and other substances) through ciliary action. It is located in the digestive tract (stomac.

(1984) Human lysosomal β-glucosidase: Purification by affinity chromatography. Anal. Biochem., 141 (1), 267–279. 37. Maret, A., Salvayre, R., Potier, M., Leg.

Cutaneous plexus function is to: supply the fatty tissue of the hypodermis, parts of the dermis, the capillaries for hair follicles, sweat glands, and deep s.

During passive or quiet breathing, the muscles used for ventilation are the diaphragm, external intercostals, scalenes, and sternocleidomastoids (pg. 536 Sil.

Tracheal cartilage a. The tracheal cartilage is strong but flexible tissue that helps support the trachea while still allowing it to move and flex during bre.

Endocarditis, which is inflammation of the endocardium causes it to become rough which may cause clotting. The actual heart is covered with pericardium which.

Valvular stenosis is defined as a thickening or blockage to one or possibly more heart valve. In example, if a patient has aortic valve stenosis, their left .

Non-ST Segment Elevation Heart Attack A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the heart (coronary artery) is blocked and interrupts bloo.

The author provides the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and diagnose of coronary heart disease. Also, the article includes the types of treatment that patien.

The regulation of acid and pepsin secretion is associated with a balance of chemo-transmitters delivered to the gastric mucosa by pathways that facilitate st.


1.6 Anatomical Terminology

Anatomists and health care providers use terminology that can be bewildering to the uninitiated. However, the purpose of this language is not to confuse, but rather to increase precision and reduce medical errors. For example, is a scar “above the wrist” located on the forearm two or three inches away from the hand? Or is it at the base of the hand? Is it on the palm-side or back-side? By using precise anatomical terminology, we eliminate ambiguity. Anatomical terms derive from ancient Greek and Latin words. Because these languages are no longer used in everyday conversation, the meaning of their words does not change.

Anatomical terms are made up of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The root of a term often refers to an organ, tissue, or condition, whereas the prefix or suffix often describes the root. For example, in the disorder hypertension, the prefix “hyper-” means “high” or “over,” and the root word “tension” refers to pressure, so the word “hypertension” refers to abnormally high blood pressure.

Anatomical Position

To further increase precision, anatomists standardize the way in which they view the body. Just as maps are normally oriented with north at the top, the standard body “map,” or anatomical position , is that of the body standing upright, with the feet at shoulder width and parallel, toes forward. The upper limbs are held out to each side, and the palms of the hands face forward as illustrated in Figure 1.12. Using this standard position reduces confusion. It does not matter how the body being described is oriented, the terms are used as if it is in anatomical position. For example, a scar in the “anterior (front) carpal (wrist) region” would be present on the palm side of the wrist. The term “anterior” would be used even if the hand were palm down on a table.

A body that is lying down is described as either prone or supine. Prone describes a face-down orientation, and supine describes a face up orientation. These terms are sometimes used in describing the position of the body during specific physical examinations or surgical procedures.

Regional Terms

The human body’s numerous regions have specific terms to help increase precision (see Figure 1.12). Notice that the term “brachium” or “arm” is reserved for the “upper arm” and “antebrachium” or “forearm” is used rather than “lower arm.” Similarly, “femur” or “thigh” is correct, and “leg” or “crus” is reserved for the portion of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle. You will be able to describe the body’s regions using the terms from the figure.

Directional Terms

Certain directional anatomical terms appear throughout this and any other anatomy textbook (Figure 1.13). These terms are essential for describing the relative locations of different body structures. For instance, an anatomist might describe one band of tissue as “inferior to” another or a physician might describe a tumor as “superficial to” a deeper body structure. Commit these terms to memory to avoid confusion when you are studying or describing the locations of particular body parts.

  • Anterior (or ventral ) Describes the front or direction toward the front of the body. The toes are anterior to the foot.
  • Posterior (or dorsal ) Describes the back or direction toward the back of the body. The popliteus is posterior to the patella.
  • Superior (or cranial ) describes a position above or higher than another part of the body proper. The orbits are superior to the oris.
  • Inferior (or caudal ) describes a position below or lower than another part of the body proper near or toward the tail (in humans, the coccyx, or lowest part of the spinal column). The pelvis is inferior to the abdomen.
  • Lateral describes the side or direction toward the side of the body. The thumb (pollex) is lateral to the digits.
  • Medial describes the middle or direction toward the middle of the body. The hallux is the medial toe.
  • Proximal describes a position in a limb that is nearer to the point of attachment or the trunk of the body. The brachium is proximal to the antebrachium.
  • Distal describes a position in a limb that is farther from the point of attachment or the trunk of the body. The crus is distal to the femur.
  • Superficial describes a position closer to the surface of the body. The skin is superficial to the bones.
  • Deep describes a position farther from the surface of the body. The brain is deep to the skull.

Body Planes

A section is a two-dimensional surface of a three-dimensional structure that has been cut. Modern medical imaging devices enable clinicians to obtain “virtual sections” of living bodies. We call these scans. Body sections and scans can be correctly interpreted, however, only if the viewer understands the plane along which the section was made. A plane is an imaginary two-dimensional surface that passes through the body. There are three planes commonly referred to in anatomy and medicine, as illustrated in Figure 1.14.

  • The sagittal plane is the plane that divides the body or an organ vertically into right and left sides. If this vertical plane runs directly down the middle of the body, it is called the midsagittal or median plane. If it divides the body into unequal right and left sides, it is called a parasagittal plane or less commonly a longitudinal section.
  • The frontal plane is the plane that divides the body or an organ into an anterior (front) portion and a posterior (rear) portion. The frontal plane is often referred to as a coronal plane. (“Corona” is Latin for “crown.”)
  • The transverse plane is the plane that divides the body or organ horizontally into upper and lower portions. Transverse planes produce images referred to as cross sections.

Body Cavities and Serous Membranes

The body maintains its internal organization by means of membranes, sheaths, and other structures that separate compartments. The dorsal (posterior) cavity and the ventral (anterior) cavity are the largest body compartments (Figure 1.15). These cavities contain and protect delicate internal organs, and the ventral cavity allows for significant changes in the size and shape of the organs as they perform their functions. The lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines, for example, can expand and contract without distorting other tissues or disrupting the activity of nearby organs.

Subdivisions of the Posterior (Dorsal) and Anterior (Ventral) Cavities

The posterior (dorsal) and anterior (ventral) cavities are each subdivided into smaller cavities. In the posterior (dorsal) cavity, the cranial cavity houses the brain, and the spinal cavity (or vertebral cavity) encloses the spinal cord. Just as the brain and spinal cord make up a continuous, uninterrupted structure, the cranial and spinal cavities that house them are also continuous. The brain and spinal cord are protected by the bones of the skull and vertebral column and by cerebrospinal fluid, a colorless fluid produced by the brain, which cushions the brain and spinal cord within the posterior (dorsal) cavity.

The anterior (ventral) cavity has two main subdivisions: the thoracic cavity and the abdominopelvic cavity (see Figure 1.15). The thoracic cavity is the more superior subdivision of the anterior cavity, and it is enclosed by the rib cage. The thoracic cavity contains the lungs and the heart, which is located in the mediastinum. The diaphragm forms the floor of the thoracic cavity and separates it from the more inferior abdominopelvic cavity. The abdominopelvic cavity is the largest cavity in the body. Although no membrane physically divides the abdominopelvic cavity, it can be useful to distinguish between the abdominal cavity, the division that houses the digestive organs, and the pelvic cavity, the division that houses the organs of reproduction.

Abdominal Regions and Quadrants

To promote clear communication, for instance about the location of a patient’s abdominal pain or a suspicious mass, health care providers typically divide up the cavity into either nine regions or four quadrants (Figure 1.16).

The more detailed regional approach subdivides the cavity with one horizontal line immediately inferior to the ribs and one immediately superior to the pelvis, and two vertical lines drawn as if dropped from the midpoint of each clavicle (collarbone). There are nine resulting regions. The simpler quadrants approach, which is more commonly used in medicine, subdivides the cavity with one horizontal and one vertical line that intersect at the patient’s umbilicus (navel).

Membranes of the Anterior (Ventral) Body Cavity

A serous membrane (also referred to a serosa) is one of the thin membranes that cover the walls and organs in the thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities. The parietal layers of the membranes line the walls of the body cavity (pariet- refers to a cavity wall). The visceral layer of the membrane covers the organs (the viscera). Between the parietal and visceral layers is a very thin, fluid-filled serous space, or cavity (Figure 1.17).

There are three serous cavities and their associated membranes. The pleura is the serous membrane that encloses the pleural cavity the pleural cavity surrounds the lungs. The pericardium is the serous membrane that encloses the pericardial cavity the pericardial cavity surrounds the heart. The peritoneum is the serous membrane that encloses the peritoneal cavity the peritoneal cavity surrounds several organs in the abdominopelvic cavity. The serous membranes form fluid-filled sacs, or cavities, that are meant to cushion and reduce friction on internal organs when they move, such as when the lungs inflate or the heart beats. Both the parietal and visceral serosa secrete the thin, slippery serous fluid located within the serous cavities. The pleural cavity reduces friction between the lungs and the body wall. Likewise, the pericardial cavity reduces friction between the heart and the wall of the pericardium. The peritoneal cavity reduces friction between the abdominal and pelvic organs and the body wall. Therefore, serous membranes provide additional protection to the viscera they enclose by reducing friction that could lead to inflammation of the organs.