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Organization of the Human Body. ST110 Concorde Career College, Portland. Objectives. Define the terms anatomy, physiology, and pathology Identify the structural units of the body from the chemical level to the organ systems Define chemistry as it relates to cell function

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organization of the human body

Organization of the Human Body


Concorde Career College, Portland

  • Define the terms anatomy, physiology, and pathology
  • Identify the structural units of the body from the chemical level to the organ systems
  • Define chemistry as it relates to cell function
  • List the organ systems and the major structures of each system
  • List and define the terms of direction
  • Apply the terms of direction to the body
  • List and define the body planes
  • Apply body plane terminology when referencing the body
  • List and identify the body cavities and the organ(s) contained within each cavity


Study of structures of

the body


Study of functions of

structures of the body


Study of diseases and


history of anatomy and physiology
History of Anatomy and Physiology

Imhotep, 2650-2600 BC: recorded some of the earliest information on surgery

Aristotle, 384-322 BC: founder of comparative anatomy

Herophilos, 335-280 BC: “The First Anatomist,” described the diagnostic value of the pulse

Erasistratus, 304-250 BC: contributed to the understanding of the anatomy of the brain, and noted the difference between motor and sensory nerves

history of anatomy and physiology1
History of Anatomy and Physiology

Galen, year 129-200 AD: “First Great Anatomist,” his writings remained unchallenged for 1,500 years. Conformed his anatomic findings to theological principles

Andreas Vesalius, 1514-1564: “Father of Modern Anatomy,” corrected Galen’s mistakes. Dissected human cadavers.

Ambroise Pare, 1510-1590: “Greatest Surgeon of the 16th century,” first to ligate vessels to control bleeding after amputations .

organization of the h uman b ody
Organization of the Human Body

The levels of organization progress from the least complex (chemical level) to the most complex (organism level)

Atoms and molecules are referred to as the chemical level

organization of the human body1
Organization of the Human Body

Cells are the smallest living units of structure and function in our body.

Tissues are an organization of many similar cells .

Organs are an organization of several different kinds of tissues.

organization of the human body2
Organization of the Human Body

Systems are varying numbers and kinds of organs working together to perform complex functions.

The body is a unified and complex assembly of interactive components.

anatomical position
Anatomical Position

When a person is in anatomical position, the body is erect and facing forward with arms supinated at the side and palms of the hands and feet facing forward.

Supine- face up, palms up

Prone- face down, palms down

directional terms
Directional Terms
  • Superior/cephalic- above, the very top
  • Inferior/caudal- below, very low
  • Anterior/ventral- toward the front
  • Posterior/dorsal- toward the back
  • Medial- most near the imaginary midline
  • Lateral- away from the midline
  • Proximal- closest to the point of attachment Distal-away from the point of attachment
directional terms1
Directional Terms

Superior – toward the head

Inferior – toward the feet

Anterior – front

Posterior – back

Adduct – bring near

Abduct – move away

directional terms2
Directional Terms

Medial – toward the midline of the body

Lateral – toward the side of the body

Proximal – nearest the point of origin of one of its parts

Distal – away from the point of origin

Varus – turned inward

Valgus – turned outward

Flexion – bend a joint

Extension – extend a joint

Dorsiflexion – turn the foot up

Plantar flexion – turn the foot down

Rotation – internal/external

Circumduction – circular joint movement

directional terms3
Directional Terms

Contralateral– opposite side

Ipsilateral – same side

Equilateral – the same on both sides

Dorsal – toward the posterior surface

Ventral – toward the anterior surface

Volar – pertaining to the palm or sole

terms of reference
Terms of Reference
  • Deep- away from the surface
  • Superficial- near the surface
  • Internal- inside
  • External- outside
  • Central- closer to the inside or within a system
  • Peripheral- closer to the outside or on the outside
  • Visceral- pertaining to the covering of the internal organs
geometric planes1
Geometric Planes
  • The body is sectioned into imaginary geometric planes:
    • Sagittal - divides the body or parts into right and left sides
    • Midsagittal(median plane)– divides the body into equal right and left sides
    • Transverse(horizontal plane)- divides the body or parts into upper and lower portions
    • Coronal(frontal plane)- divides the body or parts into anterior and posterior portions
    • Cross section – a transverse cut that is at angles to the long axis of the organ

When making clinical diagnoses surgeons frequently use quadrants to indicate the area of bodily pain

RUQ – right upper quadrant

RLQ – right lower quadrant

LUQ – left upper quadrant

LLQ – left lower quadrant

nine regions
Nine Regions
  • Two sagittal planes and two transverse planes divide the abdomen into nine regions
    • Right Hypochondrium
    • Left Hypochondrium
    • Epigastrium
    • Right Lumbar
    • Left lumbar
    • Umbilical
    • Right Iliac
    • Left Iliac
    • Hypogastrium
major body cavities
Major Body Cavities
  • The body is divided into two major cavities:
  • Dorsal Cavity – Posterior division of the body, further subdivided into the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity
  • Ventral Cavity – Anterior division of the body, further subdivided into the thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities
    • Pleura- contains the lungs
    • Abdominal- contains the liver
body cavities2
Body Cavities

Cranial cavity: contains the brain

Spinal Cavity: contains the spinal cord

The membranes that line the cranial and spinal cavities are called the meninges

body cavities3
Body Cavities

Thoracic cavity: further subdivided into the…

  • mediastinum: esophagus, thymus gland, trachea, heart, great vessels
    • Pericardial cavity: contains the heart (within its pericardial sac)
  • Pleural cavities: contains the lungs

Abdominopelvic cavity: also called the peritoneal cavity is further subdivided into the…

  • Abdominal cavity: contains the stomach, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, small intestines, and colon
  • Pelvic cavity: sigmoid colon, rectum, bladder, and internal reproductive organs

Separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominopelvic cavity

Is the most important muscle in breathing

  • The peritoneum is a serous membrane that lines the abdominal cavity
    • Parietal peritoneum: lines the wall of the abdominopelvic cavity
    • Visceral peritoneum: covers the organs in the abdominopelvic cavity
    • Peritoneal space: small space between the two layers, contains serous fluid and reduces friction
  • Mesentery: a fold of peritoneum that invests the intestines and attaches them to the posterior abdominal wall
  • Omentum : a double fold of peritoneum that is divided into the greater omentum and the lesser omentum
    • Greater omentum: attaches to the greater curvature of the stomach and hangs loosely downward covering the intestines
    • Attaches to the lesser curvature of the stomach and duodenum
body systems1
Body Systems
  • A group of organs arranged to perform a more complex function
  • There are 11 major organ systems in the human body
    • Integumentary
    • Skeletal
    • Muscular
    • Nervous
    • Endocrine
    • Circulatory (cardiovascular & peripheral vascular)
    • Lymphatic
    • Digestive
    • Respiratory
    • Urinary
    • Reproductive
integumentary system
Integumentary system
  • Largest organ system which Includes:
  • Skin
  • Sweat glands
  • Sebaceous glands
  • Hair
  • Nails
skeletal system
Skeletal System
  • Includes:
  • Skeleton
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage
muscular system
Muscular System
  • Includes:
  • Skeletal muscle (Voluntary/striated muscle)
  • Smooth muscle (involuntary/non striated muscle)
  • Cardiac muscle
nervous system
Nervous system
  • Includes:
  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Cranial nerves
  • Peripheral nerves
nervous system cont
Nervous System cont.

CNS – Central nervous system, consists of the brain and spinal cord

PNS – Peripheral nervous system, comprises the nerves

endocrine system
Endocrine system
  • Includes:
  • Pituitary gland (master gland)
  • Thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Pancreas
  • Thymus gland
  • Adrenal glands
  • Testes
  • Ovaries
circulatory system
Circulatory system
  • Includes:
  • Cardiovascular system
    • Heart, coronary arteries, aorta, pulmonary arteries and veins, superior and inferior vena cava
  • Peripheral vascular system
    • all arteries, veins and capillaries outside of the heart
lymphatic system
Lymphatic system
  • Includes:
  • Lymph fluid
  • Lymph vessels
  • Lymph nodes
  • Spleen
  • Thymus
digestive system
Digestive system
  • Includes:
  • Mouth
  • Teeth
  • Tongue
  • Salivary
  • glands
  • Pharynx
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Biliary duct system
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • colon
respiratory system
Respiratory system
  • Includes:
  • Nasal cavity
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Trachea (wind pipe)
  • Lungs
  • Bronchi
  • Bronchioles
  • Alveoli
genitourinary system
Genitourinary system
  • Includes:
  • Kidneys
  • Ureters
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urethra
female reproductive system
Female Reproductive System
  • Includes:
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • Clitoris
  • External genitalia (vulva)
  • Breast
male reproductive system
Male Reproductive system





Vas deferens

Seminal vesicles

Prostate gland

Bulbourethral glands



  • Life-sustaining reactions that go on within the body systems
    • Catabolism-complex substances are broken down to simpler compounds. Breakdown of nutrients
      • ATP-energy obtained from the breakdown
    • Anabolism-simple compounds used to manufacture materials for growth, function and repair
fluid balance
Fluid Balance
  • Extracellular fluid- all fluids outside the cells
  • Intracellular fluid-all fluids within the cells
  • Homeostasis: is the coordination of all the various functions of the body to maintain a normal internal environment. (consistency)
    • Negative feedback-monitoring internal conditions and bringing them back to normal

What is the smallest level of organization in the human body?



What is the smallest structural unit in the body?



Describe anatomical position.

Body is erect, standing with arms at sides, palms

turned forward, head and feet forward


What is “toward the midline of the body?”


What is “nearer the surface?”


What is “back”



Which plane divides the body into front and back portions?


Which plane divides the body into right and left sides?



Which subcavities are contained in the dorsal cavity?

Cranial, Spinal

Which subcavities are contained in the ventral cavity?

Thoracic, pleural, abdominopelvic