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MEDLINE Indexing Online Training Course

Category A - Anatomy

Indexing Principles

If the precise term is not in MeSH, two or more MeSH terms or a combination of MeSH terms and subheadings may be needed to index the anatomical concept. Some examples:

Index a muscle that is not in MeSH by coordinating the specific muscle term with the site:

Thigh muscle

Both terms are IM if the main point of the article is the thigh muscle. If the point is the muscle tissue and the thigh is merely the source of the tissue, the correct indexing is:

Thigh muscle

Index specific blood vessels that are not in MeSH by coordinating the organ/*blood supply with the most specific blood vessel term (NIM).

Gastric artery
STOMACH/*blood supply

A similar policy applies for indexing specific nerves or other nervous system concepts that are not in MeSH. Index the appropriate organ with the subheading/innerv (IM) and add the most specific nervous system term.

Gastric sensory ganglia

Index cells that are not in MeSH with the organ/*cytol


The MeSH term HEART applies to the heart as the whole organ. MYOCARDIUM applies to the heart as tissue. The subheadings used with Category A terms are divided between HEART and MYOCARDIUM.


/physiol is permitted with HEART but not MYOCARDIUM
/ultrastruct is permitted with MYOCARDIUM but not with HEART

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