Make your own free website on

An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

The basic functions of organisms



      Growth and differentiation



      Metabolism and excretion


The Specialties of Anatomy

      Gross Anatomy

    Surface anatomy

    Regional anatomy

    Systemic anatomy

    Developmental anatomy

      Microscopic anatomy




Comparative Anatomy

      All vertebrates share a basic pattern of organization, most noticeable during embryology.


The Specialties of Physiology

      Cell physiology

      Special physiology

      Systemic physiology

      Pathological physiology

Levels of Organization

      Integumentary system

      Nervous system

      Skeletal system

      Endocrine system

      Muscular system

      Cardiovascular system

      Lymphatic system

      Urinary system

      Respiratory system

      Digestive system

      Reproductive system





Two general points within homeostasis


      Extrinsic regulation


Homeostatic regulation involves

      A receptor

      A control center

      An effector



Negative Feedback: Example--The Control of Body Temperature


Positive Feedback: Example--Blood Clotting


Language of Anatomy

Anatomical position standing upright with palms facing forward : A frame of reference for anatomical studies

      Superficial anatomy breaks the body into anatomical landmarks and regions

      Sectional anatomy provides directional references


Anatomical Landmarks


Abdominopelvic Quadrants and Regions


Directional References


Planes and Sections are important in visualizing structures

      Transverse plane divides the body into superior and inferior

      Frontal (coronal) plane divides the body into anterior and posterior

      Sagittal plane divides the body into left and right

    Midsagittal divides the body exactly down the middle


Body Cavities

      Body cavities are internal chambers holding vital organs

    Cavities protect vital organs

    Cavities allow organs to change in shape and size

      Two body cavities

    Dorsal body cavity includes the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity

    Ventral body cavity includes the thoracic cavity and the abdominopelvic cavity


Thoracic Cavities

      The thoracic cavity contains the heart and lungs.

      It is subdivided into the left and right pleural cavities and the mediastinum

    Each pleural cavity contains one lung lined by the visceral and parietal pleura

    The mediastinum contains the pericardium, another serous membrane that surrounds the heart


Abdominopelvic Cavity

      The abdominopelvic cavity is lined by the peritoneum

    The abdominal cavity extends from the diaphragm to the superior margins of the pelvis

   liver, stomach, spleen and most of the large intestine

Abdominopelvic Cavity

    The pelvic cavity is bordered by the pelvis, with a floor of muscle

   reproductive organs, urinary bladder and the final portion of the large intestine


Clinical technology allows many different views of the body


      Computerized tomography (CT) scans

      Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

      Ultrasound images

      Spiral CT scans

      Digital subtraction angiography images (DSA)

      Positron emission tomography (PET) scans