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Topographic anatomy

Topographic anatomy is an applied science that studies the mutual arrangement of organs in various areas of the human body. Synthesizing anatomical knowledge, it gives a clear picture of the relationship of organs and the connections of some organs with others, neighboring and distant, and therefore is the foundation that allows you to practically solve complex problems of diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

As an independent discipline, topographic anatomy was developed much later than normal, or descriptive, anatomy, since the study of the details of the relationship between organs required, of course, more accurate knowledge of their structure.

Initially, topographic anatomy was called surgical. The appearance of essays on surgical anatomy was a response to the requests of practitioners and, first of all, surgeons who needed such anatomical information that would help them in their practical work. However, the first essays on surgical anatomy, which appeared in the XVIII century, differed little from essays on descriptive anatomy. They did not represent anything new or original, but rather were collections of various anatomical information, supplied with examples from practical medicine and surgery. It was only at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries that separate monographs began to appear on the description of topographic-anatomical relationships in various areas of the human body.

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A prominent role in the development of anatomy in Russia was played by the scientist doctor Martyn Ilyich Shein (1712–1762), who can rightfully be considered the creator of Russian anatomical and medical terminology. He compiled the first in Russia atlas on anatomy, and in translated medical essays he applied terms that were rooted in our medical literature. He owns anatomical terms: blood vessels , a thoracic obstruction, parietal bone, main bone, parotid gland, mesentery, ileum, colon, ureter , deferens duct and many others; he also owns such medical terms as inflammation, death, fistula , fracture, swelling, wound, ulcer, hernia.

At the beginning of the 19th century, prominent scientists were representatives of the Russian anatomical school. In Moscow, anatomy was taught by E. O. Mukhin, who compiled the original manual for this discipline.

At that time, Professor Peter A. Zagorsky, who created the first Russian anatomical school, taught anatomy at the St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy. He wrote the first Russian anatomy guide in two books, which went through five editions and served as the main guide for many generations of doctors.

Already in the first third of the last century, Russian medical science was enriched by serious research in the field of topographic anatomy. This is all the more significant because in those times Russia had a particularly strong influence of foreigners, mainly Germans, who led, as a rule, medical institutions and often, despite their lack of talent, occupied departments in Russian universities. Using the patronage of the tsarist government, these foreigners in every way hampered the development of Russian medical science, the manifestation of the high distinctive qualities of Russian scientists, did not allow them into the departments, and even in St. Petersburg created their higher medical institution (Kalinka Medical-Surgical Institute), where only foreigners who trained to practice medicine in Russia.

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At the same time, surgery in the West was far from genuine science, as N. I. Pirogov convincingly showed in the preface to his work “Surgical Anatomy of Arterial Stems and Fascia ”. He wrote: “Who, for example, from my compatriots will believe me, if I tell you that in such an enlightened country like Germany you can meet famous professors who speak from the department about the uselessness of anatomical knowledge for a surgeon?”

The foremost representatives of Russian medicine had to wage a fierce struggle with conservative directions in medical science, but Russian doctors managed to break out on the broad road of scientific creativity. In 1828, the work of the outstanding Russian surgeon and anatomist Ilya Vasilyevich Buyalsky (1789–1866), who received serious anatomical training from P. A. Zagorsky, appeared. This work, written simultaneously in Russian and Latin, was called “Anatomic-surgical tables explaining the production of operations of tying up large arteries, drawn from life and engraved on copper, with a brief anatomical description of these and an explanation of the production of operations”. These tables were a great success not only in Russia, but also abroad. Later, in 1852, the second work of I. V. Buyalsky was published (“Anatomic-surgical tables explaining the production of cutting operations and breaking of urinary stones”); Buyalsky enjoyed fame as a specialist in the surgical removal of bladder stones.

The most important merit of I.V. Buyalsky is that his works and practical work emphasized the great importance of the new - anatomical - direction in surgery, the direction that HI Pirogov developed so brilliantly and is a characteristic feature of Russian surgical science.


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The guide for the study of each education indicates the most characteristic topographic-anatomical landmark.

The material in the manual is arranged so that for use they do not need to study an entire section or chapter. The student or surgeon can choose what he currently needs and use it directly for practical purposes.

The manual provides the Paris Anatomical Nomenclature (PNA). But, given the widespread use of the terms of the Basel nomenclature (BNA), we cite them in cases of discrepancy with the terms of the Paris nomenclature. In addition, the text contains names that are not included in the official anatomical nomenclature, but adopted in topographic anatomy. This concerns, for example, the names of certain areas of the human body. We found it necessary to include eponyms as well, since they are deeply rooted in surgical practice.

In presenting the structure of the fascias of the neck, the authors adhere to the most rational and widespread in the USSR scheme V. N. Shevkunenko. In this regard, the names of the neck fascias also differ from those in the Paris nomenclature.

Most of the drawings in this publication are borrowed with some modifications from the classic manuals on topographic and normal anatomy.