Gray's Anatomy is an English-language human anatomy textbook originally written by Henry Gray. Earlier editions were called Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical, but the book's name is commonly shortened to, and later editions are titled, Gray's Anatomy. The book is widely regarded as an extremely influential work on the subject, and has continued to be revised and republished from its initial publication in 1858 to the present day. The 40th edition (and 150th anniversary) of the book was published in 2008.
The English anatomist Henry Gray was born in 1827. He studied the development of the endocrine glands and spleen and in 1853 was appointed Lecturer on Anatomy at St George's Hospital Medical School in London. In 1855, he approached his colleague Henry Vandyke Carter with his idea to produce an inexpensive and accessible anatomy textbook for medical students. Dissecting unclaimed bodies from workhouse and hospital mortuaries through the Anatomy Act of 1832, the two worked for 18 months on what would form the basis of the book. Their work was first published in 1858 by John William Parker in London. It was dedicated by Gray to Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet. An imprint of this English first edition was published in the United States in 1859, with slight alterations. Gray prepared a second, revised edition, which was published in the United Kingdom in 1860, also by J.W. Parker. However, Gray died the following year, at the age of 34, having contracted smallpox while treating his nephew (who survived). His death had come just three years after the initial publication of his Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical. Even so, the work on his much-praised book was continued by others. Longman's publication reportedly began in 1863, after their acquisition of the J.W. Parker publishing business. This coincided with the publication date of the third British edition of Gray's Anatomy. Successive British editions of Gray's Anatomy continued to be published under the Longman, and more recently Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier imprints, reflecting further changes in ownership of the publishing companies over the years.
Gross anatomy, also called topographical anatomy, is the study of anatomy at the macroscopic level. The term gross distinguishes it from other areas of anatomical study, including histology, which is the microscopic study of anatomy typically with a microscope.]citation needed[ Other branches of anatomy include embryology and neuroanatomy.
Gross anatomy is studied using both invasive and noninvasive methods with the goal of obtaining information about the macroscopic structure and organization of organs and organ systems. Among the most common methods of study is dissection, in which the body of an animal or cadaver is surgically opened and its organs studied. Endoscopy, in which a video camera-equipped instrument is inserted through a small incision in the subject, may be used to explore the internal organs and other structures of living animals. The anatomy of the circulatory system in a living animal may be studied noninvasively via angiography, a technique in which blood vessels are visualized after being injected with an opaque dye. Other techniques of study include X-ray and MRI.
Superficial anatomy (also called surface anatomy) is the study of the external features of the body. It deals with anatomical features that can be studied by sight, without dissecting an organism.]citation needed[ It is a branch of gross anatomy, along with endoscopic and radiological anatomy Superficial anatomy is a descriptive science.]citation needed[ In particular, in the case of human superficial anatomy, these are the form and proportions of the human body and the surface landmarks which correspond to deeper structures hidden from view, both in static pose and in motion. It is also called "visual anatomy".
In addition, the science of superficial anatomy includes the theories and systems of body proportions and related artistic canons.]citation needed[ Studying of superficial anatomy is the basis for depiction of human body in classic art.