• anatomical terminology;
  • anatomical nomenclature;
  • Terminologia Anatomica;
  • FCAT;
  • FICAT;
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology Society;
  • American Association of Anatomists


Almost 12 years since the publishing of Terminologia Anatomica (TA) by the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT), there has yet to be a unified adoption of FCAT-recommended anatomical terms by North American anatomists. A survey was sent to members of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) to compare the frequency of FCAT term usage with a previous study involving the American Association of Anatomists (AAA). The HAPS differed from AAA in being composed mostly of biologists (56.5%) who teach anatomy with only 18.3% of respondents having terminal degrees in anatomy. The survey included the same 25 sets of synonymic names for selected gross anatomical structures or related terms used for the AAA survey. Overall results indicate that the FCAT preferred term had the highest frequency of usage in only 40.0% of the survey questions, demonstrating 4% lower compliance than AAA respondents. Compliance with FCAT preferred terms ranged from 92.2% to 1.7% usage. When compared with AAA anatomists, there were reversals in predominant usage between FCAT and non-FCAT terms for six sets of anatomical structures: HAPS respondents predominantly used non-FCAT terms for adrenal gland (88.7%), antecubital fossa (57.4%), patellar tendon (65.2%), ligamentum capitis femoris (36.5%), while preferring the FCAT anterior circumflex humeral artery (45.2%) and anterior/posterior preferred over ventral/dorsal (41.7%). Almost 54% of HAPS anatomists were not familiar with the FCAT, nearly 21% higher than the AAA. Anat Sci Educ 3:25–32, 2010. © 2009 American Association of Anatomists.