New Terminologia Anatomica: cranium and extracranial bones of the head

Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2021;80(3):477-486. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2019.0129. Epub 2019 Dec 5.


In 2019, the updated and extended version of Terminologia Anatomica was published by the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology (FIPAT). This new edition uses more precise and adequate anatomical names compared to its predecessors. Nevertheless, numerous terms have been modified, which poses a challenge to those who prefer traditional anatomical names, i.e. medical students, teachers, clinicians and their instructors. Therefore, there is a need to popularise this new edition of terminology and explain these recent changes. The anatomy of the head, including the cranium, the extracranial bones of the head, the soft parts of the face and the encephalon, poses a particular challenge for medical students but also engenders enthusiasm in those of them who are astute learners. The new version of anatomical terminology concerning the human skull (FIPAT 2019) is presented and briefly discussed in this synopsis. The aim of this article is to present, popularise and explain these interesting modifications that have recently been endorsed by the FIPAT. Based on teaching experience at the Division of Anatomy/Department of Anatomy at Wroclaw Medical University, a brief description of the human skull is given here. This text can be useful to medical students, teachers, authors and researchers who might want to use the current version of anatomical terminology concerning the human skull.

Keywords: Nomina Anatomica; Terminologia Anatomica; anatomical nomenclature; anatomical terminology; bones of the head; cranium; skull.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy*
  • Humans
  • Skull
  • Universities*