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Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored 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. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History

Giovanni Batista Morgagni
Original image courtesy of National Institutes of Health

Giovanni Battista Morgagni

(1682 - 1771)

Italian anatomist, physician, and pathologist, Morgagni was born in the city of Forli. He started his medical studies at the University of Bologna, graduating in 1701 with a degree in Medicine and Philosophy. In 1712 he became a professor of anatomy at the University of Padua, Italy, 175 years after Andreas Vesalius. Morgagni was offered and accepted the Chair of Anatomy in 1715 at the University of Padua. Although Morgagni held a position at the anatomy department of the University of Padua, his name is associated mostly with his pathological studies.

Morgagni was interested in the works of Theophile Boneti (1620 - 1689), who started analyzing the correlation between post-mortem anatomical findings and diseases. He tried to establish a relation between the disease and the cause of death. In 1761 Morgagni published his most influential work "De Sedibus et Causis Morburum Per Anatomen Indagatis"  (On the Sites and Causes of Diseases, Investigated by Dissection). His work was essential for pathological anatomy to be recognized as a science in itself.

Morgagni was elected to become a member of several Academies of Science and Surgery: The Royal Society of London, The Academy of Science in Paris, The Berlin Academy of Science, and the Imperial Academy of Saint Petersburg in Russia. He is remembered today by several eponyms in anatomy and pathology:

• Morgagni's caruncle or lobe, referring to the miidle lobe of the prostate
• Morgagni's columns: the anal (or anorectal) colums
• Morgagni's concha, referring to the superior nasal concha
• Morgagni's foramina: two hiatuses in the respiratory diaphragm allowing for passage of the superior epigastric vessels
 Morgagni's hernia: an hiatal hernia through Morgagni's foramen, in the respiratory diaphragm
• Morgagni's ventricle: an internal pouch or dilation between the true and false vocal cords in the larynx
• Morgagni's nodules: the nodules at the point of coaptation of the leaflets (cusps) of the pulmonary valve. Erroneously called the "nodules of Arantius", which are only found in the aortic valve

Sources:
1. "A Note From History:The First Printed Case Reports of Cancer" Hadju, S.I. Cancer 2010;116:2493–8
2. "Giovanni Battista Morgagni" Klotz, O. Can Med Assoc J 1932 27:3 298-303
3. "Morgagni (1682 -1771)" JAMA 1964 187:12 948-950

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Fascia

UPDATED: The term [fascia] means "band or bandage". It is derived from the Latin word [fascis] meaning "bundle", therefore a fascia is the bandage that ties a bundle. A bundle of sticks tied around an ax was the symbol of the lictors, the Roman imperial bodyguards. Many fasciae (Pl.) are eponymic, such as Camper's Fascia, Scarpa's fascia, Colle's fascia, etc.  

In anatomy, the word [fascia] refers to a sheet of connective tissue. The term encompasses many types of fasciae (plural for fascia) which range from the thin deep or muscular fascia to the tendon-like thick fascia lata of the thigh. The image shows the anterior aspect of the thigh and its covering, the fascia lata. The opening shown in the fascia lata is the fossa ovalis of the thigh. Do not confuse with the fossa ovalis found in the interatrial wall of the heartClick on the image for a larger depiction.

In the extremities, some fasciae may contain more than one muscle, creating fascial compartments. Trauma or vascular pathology in a fascial compartment may cause the muscles to swell to the point that the edema starts causing ischemia compromising the muscles to the point of necrosis.  This is called "compartment syndrome" and may require a surgeon to cut open the fascia to relieve the pressure, a procedure called a "fasciotomy". For more information on [-otomy], click on this link.

Original image and links courtesy of bartleby.com

Fascia lata and fossa ovalis (www.bartleby.com)