Branches of Anatomy

Anatomy is the science of dissection of an organism to study structure, position, and interaction of its parts. Here we will look all the branches of anatomy or more specifically the division of anatomy.

Branches of Anatomy

1. Cadaveric Anatomy

In Cadaveric Anatomy we have to study anatomy on dead bodies usually with naked eye that’s why other names of cadaveric anatomy are macroscopic or gross anatomy. It is subdivided in two groups


(a) Regional Anatomy ▸Study of specific regions of body. For example, study of anatomy of Head, neck and brain.

(b) Systemic Anatomy ▸ Here we have to study body in systems such as nervous system (neurology), articular system (arthrology or syndesmology), vascular system (angiology), endocrine system (splanchology), etc. Locomotor system includes osteology, arthrology and myology.


 2. Living Anatomy

 Living Anatomy is the study on living body by inspection, palpation (to examine the size, location, tenderness of body by touching), percussion (method of tapping body parts by fingers or instruments for physical examination), auscultation (to listen the sounds of heart, lungs or other organs with stethoscope), endoscopy (procedure in which instrument is put inside body consequently to examine the function and view of its internal parts. For example Bronchoscopy for lungs, cystoscopy for urethra), radiography, electromiography (EMG), ECG, MRI, etc.

3. Developmental Anatomy

Study of structural changes and development of an individual from fertilized egg to adult form. 

It has 3 sub-divisions:

(a) Embryology ‣ From fertilized egg to 8 weeks.

(b) Foetology ‣ 8 weeks to before birth.

(c) Postnatal development ‣After birth.


4. Topographic anatomy

Study of structures and their relationship with the given region.

5. Surface Anatomy

Study of deeper parts of body in relation to skin surface. It can also be called as one of the type of topographic anatomy. It has significance in clinical practice and surgical operations.

6. Histology 

Another name for Histology is Microscopic anatomy as here we study the structures with the help of microscope.

7. Radiographic Anatomy

Study of deeper structures by plain and contrast radiography, ultrasound and CT scans. Another name for this is Skiagraphy.

8. Physical Anthropology

Physical Anthropology goes with study of external features and measurements of different races and groups of people, and with the prehistoric remains.

9. Comparative Anatomy

Comparison of homologous structures  (structures that appear similar and share common traits but are used for different purposes) of different animals.

10. Pathological Anatomy

Study of structural changes of an organ or part accompanying disease. Another name for Pathological anatomy is also known as Morbid Anatomy.

11. Applied Anatomy

At last applied anatomy is the use of anatomical knowledge in treatment and surgery. Another name for applied anatomy is clinical anatomy.


There can be many more branches of anatomy but here we have provided classification in context to human anatomy which are primary branches.

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