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Subheadings (qualifiers)

Proper Use of Subheadings

  • /anat
  • /cytol
  • /pathol
  • /ultrastruct

Subheading anatomy & histology
Used with organs, regions, and tissues for normal descriptive anatomy and histology, and for the normal anatomy and structure of animals and plants (multicellular organisms).

/anat is used for articles on either gross anatomy or tissue histology. It should be interpreted as "anatomy OR histology"; the "&" does not mean that the article must discuss both.

Anatomy of the amygdaloid complex.
AMYGDALA / * anat

Histological structure of the pancreas.
PANCREAS / * anat

Subheading cytology
Used for normal cellular morphology of unicellular and multicellular organisms.

Intraepithelial and stromal lymphocytes in the normal human prostate.
PROSTATE / * cytol

Subheading pathology
Used for organ, tissue, or cell structure in disease states.

Used to index deviations from the normal structure of organs, tissues and cells; /anatomy & histology is used for the normal structure of organs and tissues, and /cytology is used for normal cells.

/pathology is one of the most misused and overused subheadings. It should be used ONLY if the article discusses anatomical, histological changes in the DISEASE, NOT as a substitute for "disease"

Morphology of the liver in liver cirrhosis.
LIVER / * pathol

Anatomy of the kidney in liver cirrhosis.
KIDNEY / * pathol


Cellular structure of the pancreas in liver cirrhosis.
PANCREAS / * pathol

Subheading ultrastructure
Used with tissues and cells (including solid neoplasms) and microorganisms for microanatomic structures, generally below the size visible by light microscopy.

Unlike the subheadings /anatomy & histology and /cytology, which are reserved for normal structure with /pathology being used for abnormal structure, /ultrastructure is used for BOTH normal and pathological subcellular structure. When /ultrastruct is indexed for pathological ultrastructure, it is not necessary to add /pathol as a second subheading. However, /ultrastruct is not an allowable qualifier for any diseases except neoplasms, so the subheading used on any non-neoplastic disease is /pathol.

Electron microscope study of liver lysosomes.
LIVER / * ultrastruct
LYSOSOMES / * ultrastruct


Ultrastructural changes of the kidney in nephritis.
NEPHRITIS / * pathol
KIDNEY / * ultrastruct


Ultrastructural changes of the liver in liver cancer.
LIVER NEOPLASMS / * ultrastruct
LIVER / * ultrastruct

Subheading /ultrastructure cannot be used with non-solid neoplasms.

Ultrastructural changes of the liver in leukemia.
LEUKEMIA / * pathol
LIVER / * ultrastruct


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