Surface projections of the major organs of the trunk, using the vertebral column and rib cage as main reference points of superficial anatomy. The transpyloric plane and McBurney’s point are among the marked locations.
Locations of specific organs:
- The following vertebral levels are generally given by the middle of the vertebral body:
- The oblique fissure of the right lung goes from the spinal process of thoracic vertebra 3 towards the navel
- The horizontal fissure goes along the 4th rib (the original image from Gray has this line almost at the 5th rib, but this is not labeled in image, as other lung images seem to support the upper level)
- The cardia of the stomach is at the level of the 10th rib
- The fundus of the stomach is in the 5th intercostal space, slightly below the apex of the heart
- Pylorus is usually at the L1 (the transpyloric plane)
- The transpyloric plane is at the level of:
- lumbar vertebra 1
- the pancreatic body
- the origins of the superior mesenteric artery from the aorta and portal vein
- the left and right colic flexure
- hilum of the kidney on the left
- upper pole of the kidney on the right
- duodenojejunal flexure
- McBurney’s point is located one third of a line from the anterior superior iliac spine and the navel
- The upper rim of the liver is in the 5th intercostal space
- The left lobe of the liver is to the left of the midline
- The lower limit of the liver at the midline is approximately 3 cm below processus xiphoideus
- The spleen is projected against the 9th and 10th rib on the backside
- The left kidney is approximately at the vertebral level T12 to L3, and the right one slightly lower.
- The average position of the highest point of the spleen is at the level of the lower third of the tenth thoracic vertebra.
- The average position of the lowest point of the spleen is at the level of the middle third of the first lumbar vertebra.
Who would have thought that the past half-century of medical progress hinged upon the cells of a single woman? In 1951, Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer - in a muscle biopsy from a tumour, the cervical cancer cells anomalously were found to propagate infinitely without aging damage (senescence). In other words, her cancer cells were immortal.
Despite the fact that Lacks died later that year, her cells have now become a staple of research against polio, cancer, AIDS - to the point in which the prevalence of the handy HeLa cells occasionally pervade laboratories that require non-immortal cells. Despite this, Lacks is inadvertently responsible - even today - for numerous undertakings in medical research.
Her doctors also started using her cancer cells for research without her family’s consent. No one in her family knew about this until the 1970’s and they’ve never been compensated. Scandal! CBS story
Relief never looked so good
This month 115 years ago, a German chemist named Felix Hoffman is credited with successfully creating a chemically pure and stable form of acetylsalicylic acid to be used as a pain reliever. Hoffman’s employer – the pharmaceutical company Bayer – trademarked it: Aspirin. Hoffmann was looking for a better treatment for his father’s rheumatoid arthritis than salicylic acid, which had an unpleasant taste and serious side effects like stomach bleeding.
The image above, courtesy of The Wellcome Trust, depicts aspirin crystals. The drug is among the most widely used in the world, with more than 40,000 tons consumed each year. Americans alone are estimated to take 15 billion tablets of aspirin or its generic equivalent annually.
Aside from the treatment of minor pains and aches, aspirin is used as an anti-inflammatory medication, a fever reducer and as a preventative measure for heart attacks and stroke (due to its blood-thinning effects).
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is an organic brain syndrome caused by a protein-like particle called a prion. Loss of brain function resembles Alzheimer’s disease, but is very rapid in progression. Complete dementia usually occurs by the sixth month, and death follows quickly. There is no known cure.
People who exercise are certainly healthier than those who don’t, but do they actually live longer? A review published in the latest issue of the Journal of Aging Research says they do, by an average of around four years. But the review also suggests that the type of exercise could be just as important.
Anatomical flap up books that simulated human dissection.
Pop-up books. Not just for kids anymore!
These come from a most excellent exhibit last year at Duke University called Animated Anatomies. These anatomical pop-up books were used by medical students to study anatomy and surgery in 3-D context from the 16th to 20th centuries. Sadly, the exhibition has long since ended.
What’s that? You want to see more? Don’t say I never did anything for ya … here’s a video tour through several of the pop-up books from the exhibit:
Bonus: So how will the medical students of tomorrow learn anatomy and surgical techniques? Don’t miss Jack Choi’s demonstration of a virtual dissection table from this year’s TED! Uncomfortably awesome!