Document Detail

The anatomy of the heart revisited.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8876818     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: There is a marked conservative tendency to be found in anatomic descriptions, with a seeming reluctance on the part of acknowledged experts to test new theories by returning to direct studies of gross anatomy. This tendency has become manifest to us during recent attempts to review the structure and function of the heart. METHODS: We have reviewed our recent experience in trying to describe the structure and development of the atrial septum and arterial roots, attempting at the same time to establish the place of semantic as opposed to morphologic factors in disagreements on these topics. RESULTS: Dissection of the structures separating the right atrium from the left atrium shows a fundamental difference between the infolded superior rim of the oval foramen, made up of the atrial walls, versus the make up of the sinus and atrioventricular septums, which are true septal structures. Analysis of the arterial roots shows that the major feature is the semilunar attachment of the valvar leaflets, an arrangement not ideally described in terms of an annulus. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding of details of cardiac anatomy, as set out in standard textbooks, is hindered by a reluctance on the part of some to accept material presented on the basis of straightforward gross dissection. Instead, there is a seeming desire to depend on conventional wisdom, often unsupported by anatomic fact. Such controversies can be ameliorated by appropriate recognition to contributions of gross morphology and by using simple words to describe the observed anatomic features.
R H Anderson; N A Brown
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Anatomical record     Volume:  246     ISSN:  0003-276X     ISO Abbreviation:  Anat. Rec.     Publication Date:  1996 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-01-16     Completed Date:  1997-01-16     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370540     Medline TA:  Anat Rec     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatrics, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Anatomy / trends
Arteries / anatomy & histology
Coronary Vessels / anatomy & histology
Heart / anatomy & histology*
Heart Septum / anatomy & histology,  growth & development
Heart Valves / anatomy & histology
Terminology as Topic

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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