Fascia: an illustrative problem in international terminology

Surg Radiol Anat. 1997;19(5):273-7. doi: 10.1007/BF01637586.


As a result of international nomenclatures being in Latin, with the terms usually being undefined and translated into national vernacular languages, the same terms have been used in different ways in different countries. Fascia is an example of this, the limits of the meaning of the word differing in English-, French- and German-speaking countries. These differences are itemized in a comparative table. In 1989 the General Assembly of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists [IFAA] created the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology [FCAT] with a remit to create a new terminology for the anatomical sciences with full democratic consultation with the member societies of IFAA. The draft recommendations of FCAT on fascia and the reasons for them are given. Problems associated with the use, or lack of use, of international terminologies are illustrated. For the advancement of medical knowledge and understanding, the cooperation of authors, editors and publishers in using the current terminology in the right way remains of critical importance. It is suggested that, after adopting a terminology, IFAA has a responsibility to arrange for technical back-up.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Fascia*
  • Language
  • Terminology as Topic*