Sponsors   Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog prepared by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its 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 

Oliver W. Holmes Sr.
(1809-1894

Oliver W. Holmes Sr. (1809-1894). American physician, writer, and poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was born in 1809 in Cambridge, MA. He started his studies in law, but soon turned to Medicine, studying part of his time in Paris.

In 1843 he joined the fight against "puerperal fever", for which he was mocked, but he stood his ground on principle. A gifted writer, he published several books on essays, biography, and poetry. He was Dean of the Harvard Medical School.  He received several honorary doctorates in Law and letters from Harvard and Cambridge.

Little known is his contribution to Medicine by  the coining of the terms "anesthesia" and "anesthetic", and that he was the father of a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Oliver Wendell Homes Jr.

The Journal of Clinical Anatomy published an article on Oliver W. Holmes Sr. profiling his many accomplishments.

Original image courtesy of www.nndb.com.
Sources:
1. "The Origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, H.A.(1970)
2. "Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–1894): Physician, jurist, poet, inventor, pioneer, and anatomist" Tubbs, RS et al, Clin Anat 25:8; 992-997 (2012)


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Infundibulum

[Infundibulum] is a Latin word and it means "funnel". The plural form is [infundibula]. Variations of the word include [infundibuliform] meaning "with the shape or form of a funnel], and [infundibular] meaning "pertaining to a funnel". This word is widely used in human anatomy and embryology:

Infundibuliform fascia: Funnel-shaped portion of the transversalis fascia that is directed toward and forming the internal inguinal ring.

Hypophyseal infundibulum: An inferior extension of the hypothalamus forming a funnel-shaped stalk connected to the hypophysis or pituitary gland. (see image)

Cystic infundibulum: The funnel-shaped portion of the gallbladder

Ethmoidal infundibulum: a funnel-shaped extension of the middle meatus of the ethmoid bone, etc.

Uterine infundibulum: Refers to the funnel-shaped distal opening of the uterine tube

The term infundibulum is also found in heart anatomy. It refers to funnel-shaped extensions of the cardiac chambers. This is well-illustrated by both the cone-like right and left ventricular outflow tracts toward the semilunar valves (aortic and pulmonary). In the case of the atrioventricular valves (tricuspid and mitral) there is also described an infundibular region. In all cases, these funnel-shaped regions allow for smooth, non-turbulent blood flow towards their respective valves.

Word suggested by:J.Estrada. Original image courtesy of bartleby.com