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SubjectMTD Newsletter: Week of May 12, 2014


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Dear Guest: Following are the articles published in "Medical Terminology Daily" (MTD) for the week of May 12, 2014. For best results, see the online version of this publication. We appreciate your feedback and suggestions for new words (click here). Thanks to those of this select group that have sent suggestions!

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Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle

This article is part of the series "A Moment in History" where we honor those who have contributed to the growth of medical knowledge in the areas of anatomy, medicine, surgery, and medical research.To search all the articles in this series, click here.

Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle (1809 -1885) German physician, anatomist, histologist, and physiologist. Born in  the city F?rth, Henle entered the University of Bonn and studied anatomy with Johannes Muller (1801 – 1859), a professor of anatomy and histology. Henle dedicated his efforts to scientific research, and became the managing editor of the journal “Archives of Anatomy, Physiology, and Scientific Medicine” founded by Muller.

Henle’s career in Berlin suffered after he was arrested for 40 days in jail, because of his past membership in a radical liberal and nationalistic student fraternity, the Burschenschaften. He transferred from Berlin to Zurich where he founded the School of Rational Medicine.

Among his publications, the “Allgemeine Anatomie “(1841) is considered the first treatise on microscopic histology. Also, his book “Handbuch der systematischen Anatomie des Menschen” (Handbook of Human Systematic Anatomy) is a great anatomy book with good illustrations.

Henle moved from Zurich to Heidelberg, and from there to G?ttingen, where he accepted the position of Professor of Anatomy. He stayed at G?ttingen until his death in 1885.

Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle
Original image courtesy of
Henle’s many remembered contributions are mostly in the area of histology. His name is found in many eponyms. The eponym most associated with his name is “Henle’s loop”, part of the tubular component of a nephron.

• Crypts of Henle: Microscopic pockets located in the conjunctiva of the eye
• Henle's fissure: Fibrous tissue between the cardiac muscle fibers.
• Henle's ampulla: Ampulla of the uterine (Fallopian) tube
• Henle's layer: Outer layer of cells of root sheath of a hair follicle.
• Henle's ligament (tendon): Tendon of the transversus abdominis muscle.
• Henle's membrane: The layer forming the inner boundary of the choroid of the eye

1. "The Origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, HA 1970 Hafner Publishing Co.
2. “The Man Behind the Eponym Jacob Henle: Henle’s Layer of the Internal Root Sheath” Steffen C. Am J Dermatopath (2001) 23(6): 549–551
3. “The life of Jacob Henle” Robinson A Medical Life Co. 1921


UPDATED: From the Greek [εὐφωνία] [eu-] meaning "good" and [phone/phonos] meaning "sound or voice". The term [euphonic] means "sounds good".

This is useful when combining root terms where the proximal to distal order of root terms does not apply. An example is the removal of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Since there is no true attachment, or flow of fluids between these structures, the words [salpingooophorectomy] and [oophorosalpingectomy] are both correct, but one of them is easier to pronounce and articulate, or euphonictherefore that is the one we use: [salpingooophorectomy].

Note: Since the two root terms [-salping-] (Fallopian or uterine tube) and [-oophor-] (ovary) are connected with an [-o-] (meaning "and") per the rules used for combining root terms, the use of a hyphen to connect these terms is redundant and incorrect!


[Infundibulum] is a Latin word and it means "funnel". The plural form is [infundibula]. Variations of the word include [infundibuliform] meaning "with the shape or form of a funnel], and [infundibular] meaning "pertaining to a funnel". This word is widely used in human anatomy and embryology:

Infundibuliform fascia: Funnel-shaped portion of the transversalis fascia that is directed toward and forming the internal inguinal ring.

Hypophyseal infundibulum: An inferior extension of the hypothalamus forming a funnel-shaped stalk connected to the hypophysis or pituitary gland. (see image)

Cystic infundibulum: The funnel-shaped portion of the gallbladder

Ethmoidal infundibulum: a funnel-shaped extension of the middle meatus of the ethmoid bone, etc.

Uterine infundibulum: Refers to the funnel-shaped distal opening of the uterine tube

The term infundibulum is also found in heart anatomy. It refers to funnel-shaped extensions of the cardiac chambers. This is well-illustrated by both the cone-like right and left ventricular outflow tracts toward the semilunar valves (aortic and pulmonary). In the case of the atrioventricular valves (tricuspid and mitral) there is also described an infundibular region. In all cases, these funnel-shaped regions allow for smooth, non-turbulent blood flow towards their respective valves.

Word suggested by:J.Estrada. Original image courtesy of


UPDATED: The term [cholangiogram] is composed by the combined root terms [-chole-] derived from the Greek word [χολή] (cholí) meaning "gall" or "bile, and the root term [-angi-], also derived from the Greek  [αγγείο] (angeío), meaning "vase", or "vessel"letter. The suffix [-(o)gram] evolved from the Greek word [γράμμα] (grámma) , meaning "letter", although today we use it to mean "examination of". For more information on this suffix, click here. The term [cholangiogram] therefore means "examination of a bile vessel". 

A cholangiogram is the fluoroscopic imaging of a bile duct. To do this a radio-opaque dye is introduced in the bile system and a series of X-ray images are taken of the hepatobiliary tree. Today the examination can be performed intraoperative in conjunction with a cholecystectomy using a C-arm fluoroscope

The accompanying video (without sound) shows an intraoperative normal cholangiogram.

Video courtesy of YouTube, Mr. Andrew Smith and the Yorkshire Gallstone Clinic.


The  word [mandible] has a Latin origin in the word [mandibula] which itself arises from the Latin word [mandere] meaning "to chew", and refers to the bony lower jaw (see accompanying image). 

This term has been in use for a short time. Originally the term "maxilla" was used both the upper and  lower jaw, naming one the "upper maxilla" and the other the "lower maxilla". Today the bony portion of the upper jaw is simply named "maxilla" while the bony portion of the lower jaw is called the "mandible".

Note: This article only deals with the etymology of the word "mandible". The anatomical description of the mandibular bone will be presented in a later article.

Left lateral view of the mandible. Courtesy of
Original image courtesy of


The suffix [-emesis] originates from the Greek [εμετό] meaning "to vomit", to "throw up", or "spew". This suffix can be used as a stand-alone word. Applications of this suffix include:

• Hematemesis: Vomiting blood
Hyperemesis: The prefix [hyper-] means "excessive". Excessive vomiting
Hyperemesis gravidarum: A case of hyperemesis in the early stages of pregnancy

Note: The links to Google Translate in these articles include an icon that will allow you to hear the Greek or Latin pronunciation of the word.

Medical Terminology Daily is a free blog prepared by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. You are most welcome to submit questions and suggestions using our "Contact Us" form, or directly via e-mail. The information on this blog will follow the terms on our "Privacy and Security Statement" and cannot be construed as medical guidance or taken as instructions for treatment.

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