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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 post anatomical, medical or surgical terms, their 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

Self-portrait, Henry Vandyke Carter, MD (Public Domain)
Self-portrait, Henry Vandyke Carter, MD (Public Domain)

Henry Vandyke Carter, MD
(1831 – 1897)

English physician, surgeon, medical artist, and a pioneer in leprosy and mycetoma studies.  HV Carter was born in Yorkshire in 1831. He was the son of Henry Barlow Carter, a well-known artist and it is possible that he honed his natural talents with his father. His mother picked his middle name after a famous painter, Anthony Van Dyck. This is probably why his name is sometimes shown as Henry Van Dyke Carter, although the most common presentation of his middle name is Vandyke.

Having problems to finance his medical studies, HV Carter trained as an apothecary and later as an anatomical demonstrator at St. George’s Hospital in London, where he met Henry Gray (1872-1861), who was at the time the anatomical lecturer. Having seen the quality of HV Carter’s drawings, Henry Gray teamed with him to produce one of the most popular and longer-lived anatomy books in history: “Gray’s Anatomy”, which was first published in late 1857.  The book itself, about which many papers have been written, was immediately accepted and praised because of the clarity of the text as well as the incredible drawings of Henry Vandyke Carter.

While working on the book’s drawings, HV Carter continued his studies and received his MD in 1856.

In spite of initially being offered a co-authorship of the book, Dr. Carter was relegated to the position of illustrator by Henry Gray and never saw the royalties that the book could have generated for him. For all his work and dedication, Dr. Carter only received a one-time payment of 150 pounds. Dr.  Carter never worked again with Gray, who died of smallpox only a few years later.

Frustrated, Dr. Carter took the exams for the India Medical Service.  In 1858 he joined as an Assistant Surgeon and later became a professor of anatomy and physiology. Even later he served as a Civil Surgeon. During his tenure with the India Medical Service he attained the ranks of Surgeon, Surgeon-Major, Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel, and Brigade-Surgeon.

Dr. Carter dedicated the rest of his life to the study of leprosy, and other ailments typical of India at that time. He held several important offices, including that of Dean of the Medical School of the University of Bombay. In 1890, after his retirement, he was appointed Honorary Physician to the Queen.

Dr. Henry Vandyke Carter died of tuberculosis in 1897.

Personal note: Had history been different, this famous book would have been called “Gray and Carter’s Anatomy” and Dr. Carter never gone to India. His legacy is still seen in the images of the thousands of copies of “Gray’s Anatomy” throughout the world and the many reproductions of his work available on the Internet. We are proud to use some of his images in this blog. The image accompanying this article is a self-portrait of Dr. Carter. Click on the image for a larger depiction. Dr. Miranda

Sources:
1. “Obituary: Henry Vandyke Carter” Br Med J (1897);1:1256-7
2. “The Anatomist: A True Story of ‘Gray’s Anatomy” Hayes W. (2007) USA: Ballantine
3. “A Glimpse of Our Past: Henry Gray’s Anatomy” Pearce, JMS. J Clin Anat (2009) 22:291–295
4. “Henry Gray and Henry Vandyke Carter: Creators of a famous textbook” Roberts S. J Med Biogr (2000) 8:206–212.
5. “Henry Vandyke Carter and his meritorious works in India” Tappa, DM et al. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol (2011) 77:101-3


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-oid

The suffix [-oid] originates from the Greek [oeides], meaning "similar to", "like", or "shaped like". This suffix can be found the the medical terms [sigmoid] meaning "similar or shaped like a sigma"; [sphenoid], meaning "shaped like a wedge"; [cricoid], meaning "shaped like a ring", and [arytenoid] also from the Greek [arytaina], meaning "similar to a ladle".

This suffix is also used in daily conversation, as the following examples illustrate:

Android - "similar to a human", from the Greek [andros] human
Anthropoid - similar to a man, from the Greek [anthropos], "man"
Asteroid - "similar to a star", from the Greek [aster], "star"
Arachnoid - "similar to a spider", from the latin [arachnid], spider. It refers to the spider-web look of this menynx


Coronary

The term [coronary] comes from the Latin root [corona] meaning "crown", therefore [coronary] is used to denote a structure that surrounds another as a crown or a garland. In the heart, the coronary arteries and their branches form a crown that surrounds the heart at the level of the atrioventricular sulcus. There are two coronary arteries, the right coronary artery (RCA), and the left coronary arteryartery (*). The two main branches that arise from the left coronary artery are the circumflex artery (CFX) and the left anterior descending artery (LAD).

There can be interesting anatomical variations in the coronary arteries of the heart.

Although not in use anymore, the gastric arteries used to be called the "gastric coronaries" as the right and left gastric arteries and the right and left gastroepiploic arteries form a garland of arteries that surround the stomach. The term still does apply to the left gastric veins.

Coronary arteries

Vertebra

From the Latin [vertere] meaning "to turn", the term refers to one of the bones that forms the spinal column or raquis. This word was first used by Celsus  both to denote the intervertebral joint and the bone itself. The plural form of the term [vertebra] is [vertebrae].

All vertebrae are different, although they have some similarities which allows us to group them by region: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal. The image shows us a cervical vertebra, characterized by a slender, small vertebral body and two lateral openings, the transverse foramina. If you hover your cursor over the image, a thoracic vertebra will appear. Thoracic vertebrae are characterized by a heart-shaped body, the presence of articular surfaces for the ribs, etc. With few exceptions, all vertebrae have a basivertebral foramen.

Photography by D.M.Klein

 


Bariatric

Compound word with two Greek roots: [Baros], meaning "weight" or "pressure", and [iatros] meaning "doctor, physician, healer, or medicine". The suffix [-ic] means "pertaining to". The term bariatric means "pertaining to weight-related medicine". 

Bariatric surgery is on the rise. In the USA, the Center for Disease Control has accumulated data on obesity since 1985, and has a dedicated area in their website on the topic. 

 

USA Obesity Trends 1985-2010

BMI Calculator for Adults

       

"Gastrointestinal Clinical Anatomy" and "Bariatric Surgery" are among the many educational topics offered by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. Click here to see additional educational materials and lecture topics specifically designed for medical industry professionals. Courtesy of CDC.gov