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Journal of Morphology and Anatomy

Open Access

Macroscopic Anatomy

It is the study of the structure of the body and its parts without the use of a microscope. macroscopic anatomy, involves the examination of relatively large structures and features usually visible with the unaided eye. There are many ways to approach gross anatomy:

• Surface anatomy – is the study of general form and superficial markings.

• Regional anatomy – focuses on the anatomical organization of specific areas of the body, such as the head, neck, or trunk. Many advanced courses in anatomy stress a regional approach, because it emphasizes the spatial relationships between structures already familiar to students.

• Systemic anatomy – is the study of the structure of organ systems, such as the skeletal system or the muscular system. Organ systems are groups of organs that function together in a coordinated manner. For example, the heart, blood, and blood vessels form the cardiovascular system, which distributes oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Introductory texts present systemic anatomy because that approach clarifies functional relationships among the component organs. The human body has 11 organ systems, and we will introduce them later in the chapter.

• Developmental anatomy – deals with the changes in form that occur during the period between conception and physical maturity. Because developmental anatomy considers anatomical structures over such a broad range of sizes (from a single cell to an adult human), techniques used in it are similar to those used in both microscopic anatomy and gross anatomy. The most extensive structural changes occur during the first 2 months of development.

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