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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.

Histological structure of the pancreas.

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

Intraepithelial 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. 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

The subheading /ultrastructure cannot be used with non-solid neoplasms.

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

Last Reviewed: December 5, 2017