Author: Michael Schuenke, Erik Schulte, and Udo Schumacher. Lawrence Ross and Edward Lamperti, consulting editors
Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag, 2006;
2006; 370 pp. + index, $109.95
This is the second volume of this impressive series, the first being General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System (2006). The authors' and publisher's avowed goal was to produce an "ideal" atlas for student use. It contains entirely new illustrations "revealing the underlying simplicity of the logic and order of human anatomy without sacrificing detail or aesthetics."
There are four sections: Neck, Thorax, Abdomen, and Pelvis, plus a summary of "Neurovascular Supply to the Organs." The volume's illustrations are interspersed with explanatory text, interpretive drawings, and tables, making it part atlas, part simplified textbook. The book alsocontains a list of references and a subject index. Translated from the German, the project took eight years to complete.
The art in this volume is simply stunning–clean, crisp, colorful, and precise. Like the first volume, schematic drawings of muscles show origins and insertions as vector strands that have the effect of delineating different parts of muscles and their functions. Lymphatics are emphasized in all regions and the coverage is excellent. Summary surgical approaches provide good clinical tie-ins to the anatomy, especially in the abdomen and pelvic sections. The illustrations of the esophagus are among the best that I have seen. Maps of vascular anastomoses of the internal carotid arteries, celiac and superior mesenteric arteries, and portal-caval venous systems, among others, are original and well rendered.
Important variations, e.g., in positions of the uterus, arterial supplies of organs, and location of the appendix, are provided in more depth than in most other atlases. Embryological development is included for many systems covered. The last section summarizes the arterial supply, venous drainage, lymphatic drainage, and innervation of the organs. This is a novel approach for an atlas and will be appreciated by many medical students.
Negatives are few and far between. As might be expected in a translation, there are some variations from more commonly used American English (mainly clinical) terms, but these are minor. Radiographs do not figure prominently in this volume, but are presented in the thorax and abdominopelvic sections. Cross-sectional anatomy is usually presented from the superior aspect, thus not according well with MRI and CT scan conventions, which may bother some readers. If there is any dearth of coverage it may be in the pelvis, which could use more on the clinically important inguinal region and ischioanal fossa.
This new Thieme atlas is impressive. It packs a tremendous amount of information in its 370 pages and it does it authoritatively and in an aesthetically pleasing format.
Reviewer: Noel T. Boaz, Ph.D., M.D., Ross University School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy
Review Date: March 2007