Clinical Anatomy by Regions, 8th Edition

by: Richard S. Snell, M.D., Ph.D.
2008; 898 pp. + appendix and index; $69.95

In the eighth edition of Clinical Anatomy by Regions, the author’s goal was to produce a textbook that is streamlined and fits current anatomy curricula, many that now include prosected specimens, plastinated specimens, and computer imagery in addition to dissection.

The book is highly organized and is in a user-friendly format.  Each of the 12 chapters is structured in a similar way, making it easy for the reader to navigate within chapters and from one chapter to another.  The chapters follow an order that would correlate with a dissection: thoracic cavity, abdominal cavity, pelvic cavity, perineum, upper limb, lower limb, head and neck, and the back.  Each begins with a clinical case, followed by a chapter outline with objectives, basic clinical anatomy, radiographic anatomy, surface anatomy, clinical problem solving, and concluding with review questions.  Interspersed throughout each chapter are clinical and embryological notes.  An introductory chapter follows this same format, introducing the reader to structures and function of different regions of gross anatomy and some basic structures that compose the body.

Introductory clinical cases in each chapter serve to illustrate the relevance of anatomy and its importance to medical diagnoses. Each chapter outline provides the reader with the topics in the chapter and a page number for each providing for quick reference. The basic clinical, radiographic, and surface anatomy sections are well organized, accurate, and concise, particularly in the chapter on head and neck anatomy. There is an extensive use of tables for muscles that includes origins, insertions, nerve supplies, nerve roots, and actions.  Figures serve to summarize the branches of major nerves. Clinical problems at the conclusion of each chapter are provided with solutions and explanations. The review questions at the end of each chapter are in the format of the American National Board and have solutions provided. The extensive clinical notes provide the most up-to-date information to the reader on topics ranging from abdominal wounds to clinical testing of cranial nerves. Embryological notes briefly describe the development of structures in each chapter, as well as developmental anomalies of many of these structures.

There is an abundance of color illustrations that are clearly labeled. The illustrations of the inferior and internal surfaces of the skull are an exception to this—they are shaded very dark making some of the foramina impossible to distinguish. Illustrations are labeled with a simple description and described in detail within the text. In addition to illustrations, photographs of cadaver dissections and anatomical anomalies, such as cleft palates and developmental abnormalities in the upper limb, radiographs, and CT scans are included to further illustrate regional anatomy.

This is an excellent anatomy book for any student taking a human anatomy course.  The author has clearly described the anatomy using a regional approach and provides a wealth of information for the use of regional anatomy for diagnoses.

Donna Ritch,
Associate Professor of Human Biology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

September 2007

 ReviewerReview Date
American Association of Anatomists

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