Elsevier’s Integrated Anatomy and Embryology

Author: Bruce Ian Bogart & Victoria H. Ort

Publisher: Mosby Elsevier, 2007

426 pp, $39.95


Elsevier’s Integrated Series continues with Anatomy and Embryology, another textbook endeavor to link various basic science disciplines in the early years of medical school. This medical student text and review resource includes access to Elsevier’s Student Consult Website and nine case studies with questions and discussion at the end of the book. While the book delivers sufficient anatomical information, the embryology integration is via bookbinding more than through concepts and embryological reasoning.

The authors include the basic regional material seen in current anatomical resources on the market, providing the reader with simple, easy to follow line drawings and quick-reference tables. The limited labeling of drawings is refreshing, but somewhat detrimental to the continuity of landmarks within a series of illustrations. Many times the usefulness of the illustration is decreased because main vessels or bony landmarks were not identified.

One concern I had while studying the images was that, at times, the authors chose to depict structures differently in neighboring figures. For example, in a top schematic, the sympathetic ganglia are depicted as small, perfectly round yellow spheres connected only with white rami communicans. In the figure below, the view is modified for a more lateral approach, but now the sympathetic ganglia are drawn much more realistically as elongated, flattened, yellow “pancakes” with both white and gray rami communicans present. Inconsistent structural relationships may cause confusion for new anatomy students. Variations like this may also make it challenging to track structures in different planes of section. A handful of photographed cadaver cross-sections are also included.

The separate embryology pages are located at the beginning or end of a chapter and offer general overviews of developmental morphology with little molecular/genetic input. In most chapters, the authors provide the reader with beneficial images that are simple to follow. As an integrative text, it would be valuable to incorporate a reference image so that students see how cross-sections relate to the developing embryo in 3D and later correspond to the tissue organization seen in the adult.

This book features additional text boxes whenever the subject matter can be related to another science discipline (roughly 3-4 per chapter). The histology boxes intended to introduce cellular composition of relevant anatomy do not incorporate any photomicrographs or developmental attributes. There are very few physiology text boxes, but the clinical side-notes are acceptable.

Elsevier’s Integrated Anatomy and Embryology text-book brings to the forefront the importance of learning disciplines together in an integrated fashion. Unfortunately, it does so only adequately and intermittently. Although well organized, I believe this resource misses the opportunity to really draw upon human development and adult body patterning at a medical level. If the reader would rather carry one textbook instead of two or simply requires a synopsis of embryology and an easy to follow review of basic regional anatomy, then this is a sufficient resource to consult.

t a science background will be intrigued by the photographs and stories provided by the authors. Leave the book on your coffee table and it is sure to spur tons of interest and debate.


Reviewer: Rebecca L. Pratt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Sciences, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Review Date: September 2009

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