Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology (FIPAT)


FIPAT Officers

Chairman: Prof. John Fraher, Ireland (j.fraher@ucc.ie)
Secretary: Prof. Pierre Sprumont, Switzerland (pierre.sprumont@unifr.ch)                   Deputy Secretary: Prof. Paul Neumann, Canada (paul.neumann@dal.ca)

FIPAT Coordinators and Advisors

Gross Anatomy
Coordinator:  Prof. Stephen Carmichael, USA (carmichael.stephen@mayo.edu)
Prof. Thomas Gest, secretary of the Working Group, USA (thomas.gest@ttuhsc.edu)
Prof. Diogo Pais, Portugal (diogo.pais@fcm.unl.pt)
Prof. Marios Loukas, Grenada, West Indies (mloukas@sgu.edu)
Prof. Chao Ma, Beijing, China (mcpumc@163.com)
Prof. Shane Tubbs, USA (shane.tubbs@childrensal.org)
Prof. Changman Zhou, China (changmanzhou@hotmail.com)
Coordinator: Prof. Geoffrey Meyer, Australia (geoff.meyer@uwa.edu.au)
Prof. Abraham Kierszenbaum, USA (kier@med.cuny.edu)
Prof. Gunther Wennemuth, Germany (gunther.wennemuth@uk-essen.de)

Coordinator: Prof. John Fraher, Ireland (j.fraher@ucc.ie)
Prof. Bruce Carlson, USA (brcarl@umich.edu
Prof. Hans ten Donkelaar, The Netherlands (hans.tendonkelaar@radboudumc.nl; hjtendonkelaar@gmail.com)                                                                                                     Prof. Darrell Evans, Australia (darrell.evans@monash.edu)
Prof. Christof Viebahn, Germany (cviebah@gwdg.de)

Latin Subcommittee
Prof. John Fraher, Cork, Ireland (j.fraher@ucc.ie)
Prof. Jason Harris, Cork, Ireland (J.Harris@ucc.ie)
Prof. Paul Neumann, Halifax, Canada (paul.neumann@dal.ca)
Prof. Alessandro Riva, Cagliari, Italy (riva@unica.it)
Prof. Pierre Sprumont, Fribourg, Switzerland (pierre.sprumont@unifr.ch)

Prof. Hans ten Donkelaar, The Netherlands (hans.tendonkelaar@radboudumc.nl)
Prof. Jonas Broman, Sweden (jonas.broman@liu.se)
Prof. Paul E. Neumann, Canada (paul.neumann@dal.ca)
Prof. Luis Puelles, Spain (puelles@um.es)
Prof. Alessandro Riva, Italy (riva@unica.it)
Prof. Shane Tubbs, USA (shane.tubbs@childrensal.org)  

Coordinator: Prof.Beverley Kramer, South Africa (beverley.kramer@wits.ac.za)
Prof. Thomas Gest, USA (thomas.gest@ttuhsc.edu)
Prof. Frederick Grine, USA (Frederick.grine@stonybrook.edu)
Prof. Alastair Sloane, United Kingdom (sloanaj@cardiff.ac.uk)
Prof. Bernard Wood, USA (BernardaWood@gmail.com)

Orobiology (Provisional title, to be approved by IFAA Executive Committee)                                                                                                                    Coordinator: Prof. Bernard Moxham, Cardiff, United Kingdom (moxham@cf.ac.uk)
Prof. George Dias, Otago, New Zealand (george.dias@otago.ac.nz)
Prof. Lev Kolesnikov, Moscow, Russia (levkolesnikov@mail.ru)
Prof. Stephen McHanwell, Newcastle, UK (stephen.mchanwell@newcastle.ac.uk)
Prof. Lynne Opperman (US) (LOpperman@bcd.tamhsc.edu)
Prof. Jonathan Perry, Baltimore, US (jperry31@jhmi.edu)

Informatics Subcommittee
Coordinator: Prof. Pierre Sprumont, Fribourg, Switzerland (pierre.sprumont@unifr.ch)
Prof. Robert Baud, Geneva, Switzerland (robert.baud@unifr.ch)
Prof. Paul Gobée, Leiden, The Netherlands (o.p.gobee@lumc.nl)
Prof. David Kachlik, Prague, Czech Republic (david.kachlik@LF3.cuni.cz)
Prof. Paul Neumann, Halifax, Canada (paul.neumann@dal.ca)


Abbreviated Minutes of the 2nd FIPAT Meeting, Istanbul 31.08 / 01.09 2015

Present: John Fraher [Chair] (JF); Robert Baud (RB), Stephen Carmichael (SC), Hans ten Donkelaar (HtD), Sergey Dydykin [replacing Lev Kolesnikov] (SD), Thomas Gest (TG), P Gobée (PG), David Kachlik (DK), Beverley Kramer (BK), Marios Loukas (ML), Pierre Sprumont [secretary] (PS), Christof Viebahn (CV).

Observers: Maia Dgebuadze (Georgia), Mehmet Üzel (Turkey), Jorge Eduardo Duque Parra (Columbia).

A. FIPAT CHAIR REPORT, presented by JF:

The objectives defined at the2014 Beijing Meeting had been largely achieved: to have Terminologia Anatomica (TA), Terminologia Histologica (TH), Terminologia Embryologica (TE), Terminologia Anthropologica (TAnth) and Terminologia Odontologica (TO) revised, and Terminologia Neuroanatomica (TNA) fully drawn up, with drafts prepared, ready for review at the Istanbul meeting.

FIPAT Protocol and Policy, as formulated in the Report from the Chair, were unanimously approved. Some modifications of the later stages of the protocol were made, in order to ensure that the revised documents could reach the widest possible audience. FIPAT must play a key role in providing a comprehensive biomedical anatomical terminology across the health sciences, based on its database of official Latin terms. It can achieve this by responding to: the continual generation of new anatomical terms in clinical and scientific areas; the different naming of a given entity in e.g., TA and in a particular clinical area; the naming in clinical areas of anatomical entities which are not included in TA. Corresponding challenges arise for TE in relation to areas such as stem cell biology and congenital anomalies. It was agreed that clinical anatomical terms which are to be introduced into TA must be judiciously evaluated and selected. A clinical anatomical term is defined as a term relating to an anatomical entity which is used in clinical practice but which is not in the official anatomical terminology.

FIPAT awareness and publicity: The importance of enhancing the profile, value and impact of FIPAT was agreed. The proposed mechanisms included extensive publicity, as set out in theReport from the Chair. Inter alia, this would include involvement of young anatomists, collaboration between FIPAT and other terminology systems, such as AnatomicalTerms.Info (ATI), and dialoguing with clinicians.

FIPAT contains the official International standard set of human anatomical terminologies, and so naturally takes the lead in terminology development. Following finalisation of revised versions of TA, TE and TNA there will be a high profile launch with wide publicity to inform the Health sciences community worldwide about the new, flexible, iterative nature of the FIPAT terminologies, emphasising their value and authoritativeness. This is to be aimed at clinicians, scientists and educators. Furthermore, the value of repeated publicity for FIPAT was agreed.

Appropriate mechanisms would include articles in anatomical, educational and clinical journals; establishing dialogues with Professional Colleges and Boards and the WHO; informing Anatomical and other relevant Societies; establishing dialogue with Educators to underline the resource value of the Terminologies in learning, training and communication.


FIPAT terminologies are not fully comprehensive - the incompleteness problem. However, no system of ontologies is ever complete, and the more extensive it is, the less likely is this.

Membership of and participation in FIPAT reflect its worldwide nature relatively satisfactorily. The presence of an observer from Columbia was welcomed.

While most FIPAT work takes place via email and the internet, the value of face-to-face meetings every 1½ to 2 years, especially in relation to strategic matters, was confirmed.



Gross and Clinical Anatomy Working Group

The GCA WG had made broad revisions of TA. Emphasis had been placed on the introduction of clinical anatomical terms, for example, in relation to the heart. It had not considered the Nervous System because a specific WG was dealing with that Chapter [TNA CNS and PNS; see below] and would be inserted verbatim at the appropriate location in TA. The Latin Subcommittee had been consulted extensively on new and revised terms. The proposal of the GA-CA WG to designate a Secretary was confirmed.

Noted: In the FIPAT database of TA terms, each entity forms a row and should be entered in a format composed of a minimal number of identical columns.

Histology Working Group

The Histology WG is scheduled to produce a revised, corrected and updated TH document by the end of November 2015. This is to be compatible with TA, possibly in anticipation of a merger of the two. TH could also continue as a “stand alone” database, as for TNA.

Embryology Working Group

All sections of TE were extensively updated and expanded. The order of the sections was revised. Also, previously omitted terms were added. The hierarchy of terms was retained from the 2013 publication. Syndromes are not, by and large, anatomical terms, but their component anomalies commonly are, and so these were included, as were references to eponyms. Classes of new terms introduced included many applying to congenital anomalies [one of the clinical components of TE], the developing CNS (this section was extensively revised), entities from the stem cell field, and terms omitted from the published version of TE.

Neuroanatomy Working Group: TNA

HtD made a detailed presentation on "Terminological Issues in Neuroanatomy: Towards a Terminologia Neuroanatomica" specifying the bases from whichthe Neuroanatomy WG performed their revision. The approach to, and details of, the revised terminology of the CNS and PNS sections were reviewed and commented on in depth. A revised hierarchical classification was produced. The histology of the CNS and PNS had been merged into the relevant sections. Changes were made in collaboration with the Informatics WG and the Latin Subcommittee. The launch of TNA is to be linked to a related published article. TNA CNS is to be incorporated verbatim in TA but will also stand as an autonomous FIPAT section. TNA PNS, excluding the histological terms, is to be merged with TA in a more diffuse manner.

Terminologia Anthropologica and Terminologia Odontologica

Both documents were compiled during the course of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 and were placed on the FIPAT Website for advice from specialists.

Informatics Working Group [WG Info]

The differences and complementarities between the FMA (Foundational Model of Anatomy, Seattle) and FIPAT hierarchies were considered; both of which made explicit for nearly all terms currently present in the Fribourg database.

The Informatics area, as for TA, TE and TNA, is currently undergoing particularly active development. A draft of a new TA hierarchical tree has been posted, and is currently being developed on the Restricted Zone of FIPAT (Fribourg) website. It is valuable to complement the FIPAT website and those of others, such as that of AnatomicalTerms.Info [ATI], which was developed by PS with PG. Periodic teleconferences have also been organised by the AACA-CAT to assess the value of collaborative (FIPAT and ATI/AACA-CAT) development of databases.

It was agreed that the revised and reformatted TA, TE and the new TNA be transferred to the Private Zone of the Fribourg web site to serve as a platform for interaction with the IFAA member societies. To facilitate this, each is to be divided into chapters.

Terminologia Orobiologica Working Group

TOrobiolgica was established at Beijing as a new Terminology, concerned with the oral cavity and aimed at oral biologists and the dental profession. It is currently under active development, in the first instance considering terms relating to the anatomy, histology and development of the oral cavity (i.e. a Terminologia Oroanatomica).

Latin Subcommittee (LSC)

The Latin subcommittee, set up in 2015, extends across all FIPAT sections. In accordance with its specific brief, it reviewed in full the versions of TA, TNA and TE which were under revision, in order to aid the individual sections and working groups in relation to all aspects of Latin translation. It also considered specific issues, so as to provide accurate usage. This ensured a common and consistent approach across all sections and terminologies.



  • The place of the FIPAT database in the hierarchy of terminologies was considered. While it has value at several levels of discourse, it is in essence is a high-level terminology. Its interlinked databases, or knowledge bases, are directed at the health and biomedical sciences, including clinicians and writers (scientific and journalistic) and are designed to facilitate translation into vernacular languages that use anatomy as the basis of their medical training and practice. The databases have value for medical students, though these are not their primary targets.
  • All new printings/postings of revised or new FIPAT documents should be submitted under an open licence allowing for free publishing under condition of quoting the source.
  • Consistent with the new, flexible nature of FIPAT, and in order to facilitate continual updating, a set of formal Term Categories was agreed: Official term, consisting of 2 unique parts, an automatically attributed identification number and a Latin name; Synonyms in Latin and equivalents in other languages; Related terms; Candidate term - a unique Latin name for an entity, either as a replacement for a previously named entity or for an entity being proposed for recognition. This formalises the pre-existing FIPAT practice.
  • A significant difficulty has always stemmed from the existence of multiple terms for some given entities. In going some way to circumvent this, FIPAT documents are to be reconstituted in 6 columns, replacing the three which have existed to date. This arrangement will enable unequivocal identification of the official Latin and English terms, and of synonyms in both English and Latin, as well as identification of Eponyms.

The following is the revised format:

1 Official term | 2 Latin synonyms | 3 UK English equivalent | 4 American English equivalent I 5 English Synonyms | 6 Others | →

1 Official Term is unique and consists of two components, a unique identifier - an automatically attributed digital identification plus a Latin word or expression.

2 Latin synonyms

3 & 4 unique UK and American English equivalents.

5 English Synonyms 6 Others: Several types of item may be stored in this column, e.g., Eponyms, older names from Nomina Anatomica, footnotes, references, etc.

Supplementary columns may be added ad libitum to deal with other languages. They will form linguistic triplets: unique Language equivalent | Language Synonyms | Language "Others"

This format goes a considerable way towards resolving the problem of synonyms and eponyms, and also covers (foot)notes, etc.

The meeting authorised the Chair to present a proposal to the IFAA Executive to enable recruitment of an Assistant Chair.

The TA working group is scheduled to interact with specific sets of clinicians seriatim in order to identify and propose the addition of judiciously selected clinical anatomical terms to the appropriate section of the document. These would constitute candidate terms in the proposed classification. This is a long term initiative. It was agreed that it should start in April 2016, once the current draft of TA had been finalised and ratified.

Proposed publication

HtD made a proposal to publish an illustrated Terminologia Neuroanatomica. Realisation of this objective is outside the remit of FIPAT. It would of course incorporate the FIPAT terminology which is currently being updated, once that has been formally validated by the IFAA Executive.


A central aim is to have all of the FIPAT documents available on the FIPAT website so as to enable interaction with all interested groups. The first phase is to have Terminologia Anatomica [TA], Terminologia Embryologica [TE] and Terminologia Neuroanatomica [TNA] uploaded in Spring 2016. After that, they will be available for continual iteration by the working groups, in response to interaction with external sources and to developments in terminology. To achieve this, the FIPAT Secretary has opened a Dropbox on the FIPAT website and has contacted the Member Societies (MSs) of IFAA to announce the initiation of a Terminology Reviewing Procedure. Responses are requested by 31st January 2016. To ensure consistency across the terminologies, the Secretary is unifying the new documents into similarly formatted PDF files where necessary. A discussion day is to be set aside shortly after this, when FIPAT members will be available for focussed communication by email. Validation of feedback changes by FIPAT is scheduled to be completed before 31st March 2016. The final documents will then be forwarded to the IFAA Executive Committee for ratification and placement on the open part of the FIPAT website.


Summary of Minutes of the 1st FIPAT Meeting, Beijing 07.08.14

Present: P Sprumont [chairman of meeting] [PS]; T Gest [TG], S Carmichael [SC], J Fraher [secretary to meeting] [JF], A Riva [AR], Chao Ma [CM], B Kramer [BK], M Loukas [ML], B Moxham [BM], G Mayer [GM], M Kapitonova [MK], H ten Donkelaar [HtD], P Gobēe [PG], S Tubbs [ST], R Cruz-Guttierez [RC-G].

Apologies: L Vollrath; P Neumann [PN], B Carlsen, D Evans

The FIPAT Chairman, Professor Lutz Vollrath was unable to be present because of illness. Earlier, he had informed FIPAT of his decision to step down from the FIPAT Chair for age reasons. He thanked his colleagues and especially PS for their help and support throughout his tenure of the chair. He was thanked for his excellent work and for the time which he had invested in FIPAT, both as chairman and for many years previous to that.

PRESENTATIONS were made on progress by the various FIPAT Working Groups [WGs]:

1.Terminologia Anatomica [TA] and Informatics

PS reported on behalf of the Informatics WG for TA. FIPAT documents will henceforth be published on the IFAA website, since further printed versions are unlikely to be produced, at least by FIPAT. Web publication will enable regular updating. User-friendly FIPAT discussion fora on the website will facilitate input into this.

PG described the format of the AnatomicalTerms.info terminology system. The opportunities for interlinks between it and FIPAT were evident and are to be further explored by PS and PG.

2. Terminologia Anatomica: ML made the TA WG presentation, emphasising the value of incorporating clinically relevant terms.

3. Terminologia Neuroanatomica [TNA]: HtD detailed a proposed reorganisation of the format of TNA, taking into account aspects of CNS developmental anatomy.

4. Terminologia Embryologica [TE]: JF summarised ongoing major revisions for the next version of FIPAT TE.

5. Terminologia Anthropologica: BK reported that the first draft of this section of FIPAT is now complete.

6. Terminologia Histologica [TH]: GM reported on the establishment of a Histology Learning and Teaching Resources Platform with extensive educational content.

7. RC-G reported on the tenth Simposio Ibero-latinamericano de Terminologīa Anatōmica, Histolōgica y Embriolōgica [SILAT], which deals with terminology issues in Latin America. The need for communication between SILAT and FIPAT was emphasised.

General points agreed

  1. The mission of FIPAT is to continually adapt anatomical terminologies to developments in the morphological sciences to the needs of medical, biomedical science, and other health professions.

  2. FIPAT terminology systems are primarily for human morphologists, but also extend to a wide range of other health science professionals. It is through the latter that the status, relevance and value of Anatomy will thrive and expand. FIPAT TE deals with human embryology; terms from studies of other species can be included if they are unequivocally proven and are relevant for human nomenclature.

  3. The publication of FIPAT TE was greatly welcomed as was that of its Russian translation.

  4. The possibility of a merger of TA with TH is to be explored by the coordinators of these WGs.

  5. A separate working group [Terminologia Odontologica] is to be set up.

FIPAT operation

1. A good deal of progress had been made by the various WGs. Advances are being incorporated into the various FIPAT documents.

2. FIPAT will continue to work mainly via the Internet. In addition, face-to-face meetings will take place at each IFAA Congress and also at 1½ - 2 year intervals between Congresses, to review progress, assess developments and consider significant issues.

3. For publication, all documents must be approved by FIPAT. Publication will be accompanied by requests for feedback from the anatomical community worldwide, to be considered and acted upon by FIPAT through the appropriate WG, with the FIPAT Chair acting as curator throughout.

4. Individual WGs will comprise a co-ordinator and up to 5 advisors, with wide flexibility in selecting experts to contribute on specific topics.

5. Societies to be invited to propose sets of names for appointment to FIPAT WGs, on the basis of proven commitment to the FIPAT process, and setting out individual competencies.

6. Latin remains at the very centre of FIPAT terminology. The Latin term is the formal, official version. It enables translation into any vernacular and provides an exact point of intersection for communication across disciplines, languages, countries, regions and associations.

Next meeting: to be held in Istanbul, linked to the ISMS meeting in late August/early September 2015.


FIPAT 2014 


The FIPAT mission, confirmed at its meeting in Beijing in August 2014, is to continually adapt its anatomical terminologies to developments in the morphological sciences and to the needs of medicine, the biomedical sciences and other health professions, and to promote the correct use of terminology among these groups, as well as members of the general public, including writers and journalists.


  • The main problem facing Anatomy is the need for it to be highly relevant to contemporary health sciences. Terminology is a key element in meeting this challenge.

  • The central objective of FIPAT in the coming years must be to aim for a standardised anatomical terminology across the health sciences, thereby facilitating efficient information exchange, and indeed more effective patient management.

  • Achieving this will enhance the relevance, status and perception of Anatomy.

  • In achieving these aims, the interrelationship between FIPAT and ATI has a crucial role to play, in providing cross-linkages between their particular approaches to terminology.


  • FIPAT terminology is primarily for human morphology, but also extends to clinical fields and other health scientists. Accordingly, incorporation of relevant clinically-related terminology into FIPAT by consensus through constructive dialogue, is a major objective. New terms are continually being developed. Also, significant numbers of morphological terms in use are not found in TA. Furthermore, there are likely to be differences, variations and disparities in the term(s) used for individual entities between individual disciplines, e.g. Imaging, Imaging, Interventional Radiology and Surgery

  • The terminology of embryology and development is similarly growing and evolving. Terms derived from studies of other species may be included in FIPAT TE if they are unequivocally proven, relevant, and if they improve the formal classification of the human nomenclature.

  • The IFAA and related websites will play a central role in facilitating these developments.

Preparation and publication of FIPAT documents

  • The proposals submitted before the Beijing Congress are being considered by the relevant Working Groups [WGs] and resulting changes incorporated into the main documents [see Minutes of Beijing meeting]. A target date of June 2015 for completing this will give time for circulation of documents to FIPAT in general, to enable consideration and comment in time for the September meeting in Istanbul. Subsequent changes will entail rolling revisions of e-versions on the relevant webpages.

  • Each document needs to be approved and ratified by FIPAT before being published on the FIPAT/IFAA website. The consequent open access will enable generation of feedback from the anatomical and other health science communities [see above] worldwide, which will be reviewed and curated by the appropriate WG. Revised versions will be regularly uploaded, with an associated file indicating changes made at each stage.


Working Groups

Individual WGs will comprise a co-ordinator and up to 5 advisors, with wide flexibility to select additional experts on specific topics as appropriate.

Information Exchange within FIPAT

  • FIPAT will continue to work mainly via Internet.

  • Face-to-face meetings will take place at each IFAA Congress and also at 1½ - 2 year intervals between Congresses to review progress, assess developments and consider significant issues and for information exchange [see Beijing Minutes].

  • In addition to communication within WGs, regular exchange of information on progress needs to take place between coordinators.

  • There needs to be adequate and timely reporting of progress and developments to the Chairman and thence to FIPAT and IFAA.


  • Latin is central. The Latin term is the formal, official version. It enables translation into any vernacular and provides an exact point of intersection for communication across disciplines, languages, countries, regions and associations.

John Fraher


Chairman FIPAT


Latest News!

In April 2013, Terminologia Embryologica has appeared in book form (ISBN 978-3-1-13-170141-1) and in electronic form (eISBN (PDF) 978-3-13-170151-0). Both were published by THIEME Verlag, Stuttgart. For details see www.thieme.de or www.thieme.com.

Previous announcements: 

Since 2010, Terminologia Anatomica (TA), Terminologia Histologica (TH) and Terminologia Embryologica (TE) are openly accessible at the terminology website of IFAA (www.unifr.ch/ifaa). All pages of TA, TH and TE can be easily stored on electronic digital devices as screenshots or clips and may be freely quoted since they are posted as facsimiles of the original pages that keep their pagination.

Two important developments are due to occur soon.

1. Around the Turn-of-Year 2012/13, TA will also be posted as a freely accessible Knowledge Base (KB). This KB will include two parts:

(a) a hierarchical tree view, in which all the terms (official Latin terms AND English equivalents) are listed according to their logical affinity by using logical functions such as <is A>, <BRANCH of> or <PART of>;

(b) individual entity pages directly openable from the hierarchical tree, that render explicit the reason for the hierarchical position and that also give a reference to the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA, Seattle).

N.B. The re-impression of TA recently printed by Thieme is NOT a 2nd edition. It does not contain any modification officially approved by the IFAA.

2. The TE lists posted on the IFAA morphology website were taken from the PDF-files approved by the General Assembly of the IFAA in Cape Town (2009). However, these lists were reviewed and corrected by the Embryology working group of FIPAT, as they comprised a few linguistic or factual mistakes. These corrections will be posted on the IFAA terminology website by Spring 2013. They will also be included in the printed version of TE that Thieme is going to publish as a book.