An Overview of Anatomy and Physiology by liuhongmei




As Radiographers it is essential that you have an overview of the structure
and function of the normal human body. This allows you to understand some
of your clinical practice and why changes in Anatomy and Physiology affect
your patients.

Please remember that the staff within the university are here to help you, so if
you need help with any of the material that you cover contact one of the team
as soon as possible, failing this please ask your personal/link tutor to
ask for guidance on your behalf.

               Usama AlAlami             B710          5535
               Salim Khan                B704          5489
               Robert Lees               B726          5484
               Kiran Sehmi               C122          6701
               Nichola Bartholomew       C214          5512
               Nick White                C214          7674

                            Assessment Methods

You will be assessed using the following methods:

Semester 1 1000 word assignment contributing            20%
           1 hour examination contributing              30%

Semester 2 1000 word assignment contributing            20%
           1 hour examination contributing              30%

These will be made up of the tasks that you are given within your workbooks
and workshop tutorials. The questions will be designed to test if you have
reached your learning outcomes and will be marked according to the Faculty
Degree Scheme Handbook.

                             Learning Resources

You will be given some handouts, reference copies of these can be found in
the 6th floor Learning Resource Centre in Baker Building. In addition you may
be asked to access some material via the Physiology Website.

Follow these instructions to achieve this:

   1. From UCE Student computers – log on and the UCE Student Page
      opens automatically. Click on “find module” and enter “physiology” in
      the subject area.

   2. From any computer type in the
      address field.

You can access the Physiology Website from any Internet-linked computer.
There is a parallel site available as “text only” that runs a bit faster on
domestic phone lines and older browsers. The link for this facility is on the
Homepage of the Physiology Website.

You also have a reading list in the Module Guide which you can refer to.
The 4th Floor Learning Resource Centre in Baker Building also holds 17 CD
ROMS, which cover General Radiographic Anatomy, Positioning and
Procedures. These cover the following subjects:

General Anatomy &        Bony & Visceral            Digestive system
Terminology              Thorax
Upper & Lower Limb       Skull & Facial Bones       Urinary system
Vertebral Column &       Central Nervous            Circulatory Sytem
Pelvis                   system

                             Learning Outcomes

Having reviewed all the introductory material you should be able to:
Identify the main structure and functions of the cell.
Identify the four types of tissue.
State the main principles of homeostasis.
Explain why we use the anatomical position.
List the main organ systems and their respective functions and positions
within the body.
Make use of correct directional terminology.
State the regions of the body and place structures correctly within them.
Recognise a variety of bony and soft tissue landmarks and relate them to the
correct vertebral level if appropriate and use them to locate parts of the body.
Understand and use correct medical terminology, this will be encouraged
throughout the course.

                     What is Anatomy and Physiology?

Anatomy is the study of structures visible to the naked eye. This will relate to
the structures size, shape, location, nerve and blood supply and lymphatic
drainage. This can be studied Regionally, where all aspects of that particular
part of the body are examined, ie. All structures, muscles, bones, blood
vessels, nerves etc in one particular region of the body are studied at the
same time. (routinely followed by medics.)
Systemic Anatomy is when gross anatomy of the body is studied system by
system, this is the method we will use predominantly along with the use of
Surface Anatomy. Which is when the position of the internal body structures
are related to palpable or visible features on the overlying skin surface.
Microscopic Anatomy is the study of structures too small to be seen without
the aid of a microscope.

Physiology is the study of the function of the body and its’ structures, the how
and why of the different body processes that take place. Physiologists take
two approaches to explaining the various events that occur in the human
“Mechanistic approach” •Mechanisms of action are emphasized.
                            •Explain “HOW” events in the body occur.
“Teleological approach” •Phenomena explained in terms of their particular
                     purpose in fulfilling a bodily need.
                            •Explains the “WHY” of body processes.

                             Medical Terminology

Correct use and understanding of medical terminology is essential. Listed
below are a few useful Prefixes and Suffixes, use these to complete the task
below. If you get stuck then use an English Medical Dictionary. Please refer to
this list for future reference.

Prefix            Meaning                               Example
A- or An-         Lack of, without
Adeno-            Pertaining to a gland
Adipo-            Pertaining to fat
Alb-              White
Alg-              Pertaining to pain
Angio-            Pertaining to a vessel
Ante-             Before
Anti-             Against
Arterio-          Pertaining to an artery
Arth-             Pertaining to a joint
Aur-              Pertaining to the ear
Bio-              Pertaining to life
Brachi-           Pertaining to the arm
Brady-            Slow
Broncho-          Pertaining to the bronchus

Carcino-          Pertaining to cancer
Cardio-           Pertaining to the heart
Caud-             Pertaining to a tail
Cephalo-          Pertaining to the head
Cerebr-           Pertaining to the cerebrum
Chole-            Pertaining to bile
Chondro-          Pertaining to cartilage
Colo-             Pertaining to colon
Contra-           Against
Costo-            Pertaining to a rib
Cranio-           Pertaining to the skull
Cyro-             Pertaining to cold
Cut-              Pertaining to the skin
Cyst-             Pertaining to the bladder
Cyto-             Pertaining to the cell
Derma-            Pertaining to the skin
Di-               Two, twice
Dis-              Seperation
Dorsi-            Pertaining to the back
Dys-              Difficult, painful
Ecto-             Outside
Endo-             Inside
Entero-           Pertaining to the insestines
Epi-              On, upon
Ex-               Without, outside
Extra-            In addition to, outside
Fibro-            Pertaining to fibres
Gastro            Pertaining to the stomach
Gluco or Glyco-   Pertaining to glucose
Gyne-             Pertaining to the female sex
Haem-             Pertaining to the blood
Hemi-             Half
Hepato-           Pertaining to the liver
Hist-             Pertaining to tissue
Homeo-            Sameness, similarity
Hyper-            Above
Hypo              Below
Hystero-          Pertaining to the uterus
Ileo-             Pertaining to the ileum
Infra-            Beneath
Inter             Between
Intra-            Within
Iso-              Equal
Kine-             Pertaining to movement
Lacto-            Pertaining to milk
Laryngo-          Pertaining to the larynx
Latero-           Pertaining to the side
Leuko-            White
Lipo-             Fat
Litho-            A stone or calculus

Macro-            Large, of abnormal size
Mal-              Abnormal
Mast- or Masto-   Pertaining to the breast
Mega              Great, large
Micro-            Small
Mono-             One
Multi-            Many
Myo-              Pertaining to muscle
Myelo-            Marrow
Nasi-             Pertaining to the nose
Necro-            Pertaining to death
Neo-              New
Nephero-          Pertaining to the kidney
Neuro-            Pertaining to nerves
Oo-               Pertaining to an ovum
Orchi-            Pertaining to the testes
Oro-              Pertaining to the mouth
Osteo-            Pertaining to bone
Para-             Beside
Peri-             Around
Phleb-            Pertaining to a vein
Phono-            Pertaining to sound
Photo-            Pertaining to light
Poly-             Many
Post-             After, behind
Pre-              Before
Procto-           Pertaining to the rectum
Pseud             False
Pulmo             Pertaining to the lungs
Pyleo             Pertaining to pelvis of the kidney
Py- or Pyo        Pertaining to pus
Quadri-           Four
Reno-             Pertaining to the kidney
Retro-            Backward, behind
Semi-             Half
Seps              Decay
Soma/ Somato      Pertaining to the body
Spleen            Pertaining to the spleen
Steno-            Contracted, or narrowed
Sub-              Under
Super-            Above, excess
Supra-            Above, over
Tachy-            Rapid
Tetra-            Four
Thrombo-          Pertaining to a clot
Toxo or Toxico-   Pertaining to poison
Tracheo-          Pertaining to the trachea
Trans-            Across, through
Tri-              Three
Ultra-            Beyond

Uni-            One
Uro-            Pertaining to the urinary tract
Vas- or Vaso-   Pertaining to a vessel
Veno-           Pertaining to a vein
Vesico-         Pertaining to the urinary bladder

Examples of     Meaning                        Example
-algia          Pain
-ectomy         Cutting out, removal
-genic          Producing
-graphy         Recording
-itis           Inflammation
-natal          Birth
-oid            Like
-oma            Tumour
-orrhoea        Flow, discharge
-oscopy         Examination with a scope
-osis           Degenerative disorder
-ostomy         Make an opening into
-otomy          Cutting into or through
-pathy          Disease
-pnoea          Breath
-uria           Urine

                                 Task 01

What do the following words mean?

Angiography                                   Dysphonia
Antenatal                                     Flatus
Apnoea                                        Gastroenteritis
Arthritis                                     Glomerulonephritis
Bradycardia                                   Hyperpnoea
Cardiomyopathy                                Hypocapnia
Cholecystectomy                               Nephropathy
Colorectal carcinoma                          Neuropathy
Colostomy                                     Osteoma
Colposcopy                                    Pathogenic
Dermatitis                                    Tachycardia

                      Atoms Elements and Molecules

All substances in the world are made up of basic particles called atoms.

Elements are pure substances that are made up of only one type of atom. For
example Hydrogen (H), Nitrogen (N), Carbon (C), Oxygen (O) and minerals
such as, Sodium (Na), Phosphorus (P), Sulphur (S), Chlorine (Cl), Iron (Fe)
and Calcium (Ca).

Molecules are made up of two or more atoms joined together eg. Water and
Carbon Dioxide.

The 60% of a Humans’ Body weight is made up of Water. The remainder is
organic material, a combination of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen
formed together as Fats, Sugars or Proteins, of which approximately 4.5% is
mineral content.

                     Levels Of Organization In The Body

The basic unit of both structure and function of the body is the cell.
Organisms are either “UNICELLULAR” or “MULTICELLULAR”
Unicellular organisms (e.g. bacteria and amoebae) and Multicellular
organisms (e.g. humans)

                                    Task 02

Schematic diagram of typical animal cell






Label structures 1- 7 and give an outline of the function of each structure in no
more than 25 words (175 words total)

      Check your answers on the Physiology Website (Module GM41U)

                            Functions Of The Cell

•Obtaining nutrients and oxygen from the environment surrounding the cell.
•Produce energy from the nutrients and oxygen
        Nutrients + oxygen = CO2 +H2O +ENERGY
•Eliminate waste products.
•Maintain a boundary for selective exchange of material between the cell and
its surrounding environment.
•Detect and respond to changes in the environment surrounding the cell.
•Reproduction: Mitosis & Meiosis ?

                              The Cell Membrane

Cells are enclosed by a cell membrane, also known as the plasma
membrane. This membrane is more than just a retaining boundary layer for
the cell. It functions as part of the control mechanism that determines what
passes in and out of the cell - as well as being important in cell-to-cell

Bridging the phospholipid bilayer are proteins of various types. Some proteins
form channels that allow polar molecules such as ions, amino acids and
sugars to enter the cell. Some proteins allow ions to be actively transported in
or out of cells using ATP, the cell’s energy molecule. Other proteins have
receptors that are recognised by hormones and other messenger molecules.
Sugar residues are attached to some proteins (glycoproteins) that allow cells
to be recognised as self by the immune system. Many therapeutic drugs
target these membrane proteins.
                                               The basic unit of the cell
                                               membrane is the phospholipid.
                        phosphate “head”       This class of molecules has a
                                               hydrophobic fatty acid lipid “tail”
                        lipid “tail”           and a hydrophilic phosphate
                                               “head”. Phospholipids are
                                               arranged in a stable bilayer with
                                               their hydrophilic heads facing
                                               outward to the interstitial fluid and
                                               inwards to the intracellular fluid or
                                               cytoplasm. The hydrophobic lipid
                                               tails form the middle layer, isolated
                                               from water.

                      transporter       binding to                     glycoprotein
                      protein           receptor


                                                                        proteins span
                                                                        the cell
                               transporter protein

This is one of the most important concepts in physiology. Every system and
process in the body relies to some extent on diffusion.

Substances need to move across membranes e.g.

       nutrients from gut to blood
       oxygen from alveoli to blood
       CO2 from cells to blood
       electrolytes (ions) from blood to cells
       water from kidney tubules to blood etc…. etc….

Diffusion is where substances such as ions and gasses move from an area
where they are in high concentration to an area of low concentration, usually
across a cell membrane.

                high                                 low
             concentration                       concentration


No input of energy is required for this movement - just a difference in
concentration. The difference in concentration is called a gradient and the
steeper the gradient - the faster the rate of diffusion (and vice versa)

Think of a ball rolling down hill……….

                                                   the steeper the gradient
                                                     - the faster the rate

Sometimes the body needs to move materials against a gradient (uphill) and
this requires energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate)


Where water diffuses across a membrane, this is called osmosis. The
concentration of substances in solution such as electrolytes determines the
rate and direction of water movement

   higher concentration of electrolytes = lower concentration of water
   lower concentration of electrolytes = higher concentration of water

As with diffusion as described above, water moves from the high to low
concentration i.e. towards the highest concentration of electrolytes.
Physiological membranes such as those found around cells do not easily
permit the movement of electrolytes so although there is a diffusion gradient
for the electrolyte, it is only the water that moves.

                                          membrane – (permeable to water only)

                   high                                     low
              concentration                           concentration
              of electrolytes                         of electrolytes
               (low water)                             (high water)

The steeper the gradient of electrolytes - the faster the rate of diffusion of

What is Active Transport? Give one example of this.

                   Specialization Of The Cellular Function

Cells can become modified to carry out a “SPECIALIZED” function
Examples include:
[a]    Cells of the gastric pits in the stomach
[b]    Cells in the nephrons of the kidney
[c]    Nerve cells

                   The Hierarchy Of Structural Organisation
Cells of similar structure and function are organised into “TISSUES” of which
there are Four Types:        1) Epithelial
                             2) Connective
                             3) Muscle
                             4) Nervous

“ORGANS” are composed of two or more types of primary tissue, organized
to perform a particular function(s). e.g. The stomach.
Organs are further organized into “BODY SYSTEMS”
The organs of the body system interact to accomplish a common activity that
is essential for survival of the whole body.
The “TOTAL BODY” is composed of the various body systems, these are
structurally and functionally linked together as an entity.

                                   Task 03

Here is a list of the main organ systems of the body. Find out the key function
or functions and the structures associated with each of systems.

      Check your answers on the Physiology Website (Module GM41U)

Nervous System

Endrocrine System

Circulatory System

Respiratory System

Digestive System

Renal System

Reproductive System

Immune System

                               Survival Needs

The body requires the following to survive:
1) Nutrients (Give examples)
2) Oxygen: 20% of air breathed is oxygen and is made available to the blood
and body cells by the cooperative efforts of the respiratory and circulatory
3) Water:     60%-80% of body weight
              Fluid is the base for body secretions and excretions.
4) Body temperature: 37°C, alteration in body temperature influences the rate
of metabolic reactions.
5) Atmospheric pressure: Force exerted on the surface of the body by the
weight of the air.

Internal Versus External Environment
Cells of the body are in contact with the internal environment. The Internal
environment is outside the cells, but inside the body.
Internal environment consists of:
a) Extracellular fluid
Made up of plasma, the fluid portion of the blood.

b) Interstitial fluid

Various body systems accomplish the exchange between the external
environment and the internal environment.


The chemical composition and physical state of the internal environment are
constantly changing, ie there may be changes in temperature, nourishment
and water. Therefore, measures must be taken to adjust to these changes
and maintained at a relatively constant environment to ensure the continued
functioning of the cells of the body.

Homeostasis “Maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment”

It is essential for the survival of each cell.

Examples of some of the factors that may be subject to homeostatic control
Blood Pressure-
Waste products-

General Characteristics Of Control Mechanisms

Communication within the body is essential for homeostasis. Communication
is accomplished by the nervous and endocrine systems ( which will be
discussed later)
Components of the control mechanisms are:

1) Variable: Factor or event being regulated.

2) Receptor: Sensor that monitors the environment and responds to changes.

3) Control Centre:    Determines the set point at which the variable is to be
4) Effector:   Provides the means for the control centre’s response to the

Negative Versus Positive Feedback Mechanisms

Most homeostatic control mechanisms are negative feedback mechanisms

Negative feedback “The output of the system decreases or shuts off the
                  original stimulus or reduces its intensity”

Positive Feedback “The output enhances or exaggerates the original
                  stimulus, so that the activity is accelerated”

                           The Anatomical Position

When describing the location of structures within the body we assume that the
body is in the Anatomical position.
The Anatomical position allows a standard way of documenting where one
part of the body is in relation to another and prevents ambiguity in terms of
orientation! This allows us to identify Left from Right and Superior from Inferior
A person in the anatomical position is:

“Standing erect with head, eyes and toes pointing forward, feet together
with arms by the side. The palms of the hands are also pointing

                                    Task 04

On the diagrams above label the following regions: left orbital, cephalic,
cervical, axillary, thoracic, umbilical, pelvic, femoral, occipital, right
scapular,gluteal, popliteal and calcaneum.

     The physique of a patient can also have an affect on where the internal
     structures lie. A Sthenic body build is one that is said to be “normal”

                                                        Task 05
                                                        Identifying all the arrowed
                                                        Draw a diagram to represent the
                                                        relative physiques of a
                                                        Hypersthenic and an Asthenic

     Keogh, B. and Ebbs,S. (1984)

                             Additional Directional Terms

       Term                Definition                                Example
Anterior/ Ventral   Closer to the front        The patella is on the anterior side of the knee
Posterior/ Dorsal   Closer to the back         The shoulder blades are posterior to the ribs
Superior            Closer to the head         The heart is superior to the stomach
Inferior            Closer to the feet         The chest is inferior to the neck
Medial              Closer to the midline      The big toe is medial to the 5th toe
Lateral             Further from the midline   The thumb is on the lateral side of the hand
Superficial         Closer to the surface      The skin is superficial to muscle
Deep                Further from the surface   The lungs are deep to the ribs
Proximal            Closer to the trunk        The hip is proximal to the knee
Distal              Further from the trunk     The wrist is distal to the elbow

                                 Terms Of Movement

      Term                Definition                               Example
Flexion            Bending joint to make        Touch your right shoulder with your right hand
                   the angle between the
                   two bones smaller
Extension          Straightening the joint to   If you straighten your logs, your knees have
                   make the angle larger        undergone extension
Abduction          Moving away from the         When you stand with your feet apart, your legs
                   median plane                 are in abduction
Adduction          The opposite of              Squeeze your knees together
Lateral Flexion    Movement in the coronal      If you tilt your head to touch your ear to your
                   plane used to describe a     shoulder, you have laterally flexed your neck
                   movement in the spine
Protraction        Moving anteriorly            Moving your chin forward
Retraction         Moving posteriorly           Pushing your shoulders back to squeeze your
                                                shoulder blades together
Elevation          Upward movement              When shrugging your shoulders to elevate them
Depression         Opposite to elevation

     Postural Terms

     Erect- standing on the feet,body vertical
     Supine- lying on the back
     Prone- lying on the front
     Decubitus- lying down             dorsal decubitus
                                       lateral decubitus

                        Body Lines Planes & Sections

To place organs within the body we occasionally use imaginary lines, these
are simply two connecting points on the body. Alternatively we use planes
where we imagine that the line goes all the way through the body and is
therefore 3 dimensional.
Here are some examples of the most commonly used planes:

Axial, Transverse or Horizontal plane



Tortora, G. J. and Reynolds, S.   Principles of Anatomy and Physiology.
(2003)                            (10th Ed). New York, Wiley.

                              Regions of the Body

The body is divided into two cavities :-
The ventral cavity, is made up of the Thoracic, Abdominal and Pelvic cavity.

The dorsal cavity, contains the brain and spinal cord

                                    The Thorax

This is the area between the neck and the abdomen.
The upper part of the thoracic cavity is termed the thoracic inlet.
Because of the slope of the first rib the inlet is “oblique”, and its posterior
margin is more superior than the anterior margin.

The boundaries of the thoracic inlet are the first thoracic vertebra posteriorly,
the upper border of the manubrium-sterni and on each side by the first rib.

The anterior wall is formed by:- the sternum, costal cartilages, anterior ends of
the ribs and the intervening inter-costal muscles.

The posterior wall is formed by:- the thoracic vertebrae and intervertebral disc.

The lateral walls by:- the ribs and intercostals muscles.

The Inferior border is made up of the Diaphragm.

The Bony Landmarks of the Thorax that we use are:

Keogh, B. and Ebbs,S. (1984)

The Thorax is filled laterally by the Pleura that contain the lungs and centrally
by the Mediastinum.

                              The Mediastinum

K C Clark
Positioning in Radiography Volume One (9th Edition) 1973
William Heinmann Medical Books Ltd.

This may be divided by the Transverse Sternal Angle Plane. Thus forming the
Superior and Inferior Mediastinum .

The Inferior Mediastinum is further subdivided into Anterior, Middle and
Posterior portions.

                                  Task 06
Using the diagram above, draw in the position of the Oesophagus, Heart,
Trachea and Aorta.

                                  The Diaphragm

The Diaphragm is a                          sheet, that is convex upwards and
separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
It is fixed by muscular fibres, which attach anteriorly to
It is fixed posteriorly by the crura which attach it to the Lumbar vertebrae.The
Right crus of the Diaphragm attaches to:

The Left side crus of the Diaphragm attaches to:

Laterally it is attached to the

It has three apertures. The first is at the level of the       thoracic vertebra
and allows the Inferior Vena Cava to pass through it.

The second is at the level of the          thoracic vertebra and allows the
Oesophagus to pass through it.

The third is at the level of the           thoracic vertebra and allows the
Descending Aorta to pass through it.

                                     Task 07
Complete the gaps above.

                     Divisions of the Abdomen and Pelvis

The Abdomen and Pelvis are bound by:
      The Diaphragm:
      The Lumbar Vertebrae and Pelvis:
      The Psoas Muscles:
      The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle:
      The Rectus Abdominus:The Linea Alba- fibrous aponeurosis:

Keogh, B. and Ebbs,S. (1984)

The Abdomen and Pelvis can be divided into nine regions. These divisions
are made by the: Right and Left Mid-Clavicular lines

                    Transpyloric Plane

                    Transtubercular Plane.

                                   Task 08

How would you identify the location of all the lines and planes listed above?

Draw a diagram of the Abdomen and Pelvis, then label the nine regions:

Right and Left Hypocondrium.
Right and Left Lumbar.
Right and Left Iliac.
Hypogastric or Suprapubic.

As many structures within the body are named after the bones closest to them
it is important that these bones can be identified.

                                   Task 09

Label the bones on this skeleton

Check your answers on the Physiology Website (Module GM41U)

           (3 groups of

            (3 groups of

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