FEDERATIVE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR ANATOMICAL TERMINOLOGY

The IFAA TERMINOLOGIES

 

FORMAT

Each publication in its simple, paginated format is structured to enable easy interpretation. It begins with a Preface, setting out the objectives and explaining the organisation and hierarchy, and a User Guide to ensure unequivocal interpretation. The publications are revised and edited on a continuing basis. However, FIPAT may decide to publish, at given intervals, a frozen (characterised by its date) version that would correspond to the previous “editions” of the Terminologies.

RECENT UPDATES

Terminologia Anatomica (TA): Particular emphasis is given to expanding the content of clinical anatomical terms, to enhance the relevance of FIPAT for the clinical community. The neuroanatomical and sensory organ components were modified in exact accordance with Terminologia Neuroanatomica (see below).

Terminologia Embryologica (TE): Previously omitted terms have been added. Many new terms introduced apply to congenital anomalies (the principal clinical component of TE), to the developing CNS (in the light of recent advances in molecular neuroscience) and to the stem cell field. Syndromes are not, by and large, anatomical terms, but their component anomalies and variations commonly are, and so these are included, as is reference to eponyms.

Terminologia Neuroanatomica (TNA): This new section was developed as a modification of the CNS, PNS and Sensory Organ sections of TA. Major revisions were introduced, also in response to recent advances in molecular neuroscience. The relevant histological terms were merged. TNA currently can stand alone. It, including the blood supply to the CNS, is also to constitute verbatim a component of TA.

Terminologia Histologica (TH): The TH working group is currently revising this document.

Terminologia Anthropologica and Terminologia Odontologica (TAnth, TO): Both documents have been placed on the FIPAT website for feedback and input from specialists.

Terminologia Orobiologica (TOrobiol): This was established in 2014 as a new Terminology. It deals with the oral cavity and is aimed at oral biologists and the dental profession. It is currently under active development.  In the first instance it is dealing with terms relating to the anatomy, histology and development of the oral cavity (i.e., to initially develop a Terminologia Oroanatomica).

Informatics Subcommittee: The Informatics area is currently undergoing particularly active development. A draft of a new TA hierarchical tree has been posted, and is currently being developed on the Restricted Zone of FIPAT (Fribourg and Dalhousie) website. Periodic teleconferences have also been organised by the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) through the Clinical Anatomical Terminology (CAT) group, in order to assess the value of collaborative (FIPAT and ATI/AACA-CAT) development of databases.

Latin Subcommittee (L-SC): Because Terminologies’ basic language is Latin, this Subcommittee, currently under the Chair, is checking the linguistic accuracy of the changes and its conformity with RAT rules.

FORMAT REVISIONS

Revised and new FIPAT documents are to be for the time being constituted in 6 columns, replacing the 3-column arrangement which was standard in the publications Terminologia Anatomica (Thieme 1998), Terminologia Histologica (Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 2006) and Terminologia Embryologica (Thieme 2013). This arrangement enables unequivocal identification of the official Latin and English terms, of common synonyms in both English and Latin, and of Eponyms.  The following is the revised format:

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6
Official term Latin synonyms UK English equivalent US English equivalent English synonyms Others

Others: Several types of item may be stored in this column, e.g., Eponyms, older names from Nomina Anatomica, footnotes and references.

Supplementary columns may be added ad libitum to deal with other languages. They will form linguistic triplets:

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Unique Language equivalent Language synonyms Language “Others”

 

TERM CATEGORIES

Consistent with the new, flexible nature of FIPAT, and in order to facilitate continual discussion and updating, the following set of Term Categories is used: Official term, consisting of 2 unique parts, the Latin name combined with an automatically attributed unique identification number, with a component (TAH, TE, etc.) indicating to which parent Terminologia it belongs; Synonyms in Latin; Equivalent names in other languages; Related terms; Candidate term – a unique Latin name for an entity, either as a replacement for a previously named entity or for an entity being proposed for recognition. This formalises the pre-existing FIPAT practice.

CURRENT OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

Schedule: The central aim is to have all of the FIPAT documents available on the open space of the FIPAT websites so as to enable interaction with all interested groups (see About FIPAT).

The first phase is to have TA, TE and TNA uploaded in 2016. To achieve this, the FIPAT Secretary has opened a DropBox account, to stimulate and enable feedback on the Terminologies. Responses by 31st January will lead to validation of feedback changes by FIPAT, scheduled to be completed by 31st March 2016. The final documents will then be forwarded to the IFAA Executive Committee for ratification and placement on the open part of the FIPAT websites. They will then be available for continual iteration by the working groups, in response to external interaction and developments in terminology.

The new, specialised website facilitates all of these functions, and renders them efficient and user-friendly. It encourages interaction with the Societies and their members. Registration of users (FIPAT members and representatives of Member-Societies) enables access to the private part of the website.

John Fraher
Chair, FIPAT