Anatomy - Terminology

What is the Federative International Committee on Anatomical Terminology?


Does it matter that that organization accepted the term “prostate” for the Skene’s gland? If a doctor tells you that there is no female prostate, is s/he right?

If that doctor is a preceptor or a professor, he or she is right. If not, I still wouldn’t argue it. Lots more important things to worry about.

Thanks. I understand that if the preceptor/professor says the Earth is flat, on his/her exam, I should regurgitate the same nonsense. However, objectively speaking, is he or she right? Or, if the doctor isn’t a preceptor or a professor?

Ok, I have to weigh in here as a certified nurse-midwife (certainly a specialist in female anatomy). There is no female prostrate - depending on when you were educated. If you are looking anatomically in the equivalent area for the very same structure, it isn’t there (so in one way, the professor/doctor is right).


But: I found this reference: "The male gonad, the testis, differentiates embryonically initially under the influence of the Y chromosome. Later under the influence the gonad-derived fetal testosterone acting through androgen receptors, a region of the urogenital sinus (UGS) mesenchyme differentiates to form the primordial prostate buds. The buds then signal back to the overlying epithelium, inducing duct formation, this was one of the early studied (1970’s) example of an mesenchymal-epithelial interaction in development. Interestingly, the female equivalent gland originally called Skene’s gland, then paraurethral gland has now also been renamed the female prostate. " http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?ti…


Bear in mind that there is systematic effort in the life sciences to rename structure which have eponymous names (names after a person) in favor of terminology which more accurately reflects some information about the structure. Since Skene’s glands arise from similar embryologic origin and produce fluid which is chemically similar to prostatic fluid, renaming it the prostate is in line with this trend.


In first year anatomy, we learned lots of dual names for structures, because of this phenomenon. We were told “this is the correct anatomical name, but this is what it is called in practice, and if you call it ____ (the new name) they will look at you funny and not know what you mean.”


Hope that helps!


Kate



  • Kate429 Said:
Ok, I have to weigh in here as a certified nurse-midwife (certainly a specialist in female anatomy). There is no female prostrate - depending on when you were educated. If you are looking anatomically in the equivalent area for the very same structure, it isn't there (so in one way, the professor/doctor is right).

But: I found this reference: "The male gonad, the testis, differentiates embryonically initially under the influence of the Y chromosome. Later under the influence the gonad-derived fetal testosterone acting through androgen receptors, a region of the urogenital sinus (UGS) mesenchyme differentiates to form the primordial prostate buds. The buds then signal back to the overlying epithelium, inducing duct formation, this was one of the early studied (1970's) example of an mesenchymal-epithelial interaction in development. Interestingly, the female equivalent gland originally called Skene's gland, then paraurethral gland has now also been renamed the female prostate. " http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?ti...

Bear in mind that there is systematic effort in the life sciences to rename structure which have eponymous names (names after a person) in favor of terminology which more accurately reflects some information about the structure. Since Skene's glands arise from similar embryologic origin and produce fluid which is chemically similar to prostatic fluid, renaming it the prostate is in line with this trend.

In first year anatomy, we learned lots of dual names for structures, because of this phenomenon. We were told "this is the correct anatomical name, but this is what it is called in practice, and if you call it ____ (the new name) they will look at you funny and not know what you mean."

Hope that helps!

Kate



Hi Kate:

You say "depending on when you were educated". Hence my question regarding the importance of the Federative International Committee on Anatomical Terminology. In 2002, they accepted the term female prostate based in part on a study by a Romanian doctor. Is that body important? Or, are they a group of quacks? If based on their "ruling", I say prostate when referencing what is normally called the Skene's gland in women, am I wrong or nuts? Is it a point even worthy of discussion?

Part of the reason I ask is I asked a question about the "female prostate" in class and pretty much got shot down automatically by the professor without his even bothering to reason why there was no female prostate. But, I asked the question because I'd seen articles regarding the ruling by the FICAT and the study. So, I am wondering if the FICAT is just a group of irrelevant doctors, even though the US members are from Mayo Clinic and SGUSOM.

I’ll have to research that and get back to you, but our anatomy professors referenced FICAT heavily, so I don’t think they are just “a bunch of quacks”.


Kate

Thanks, Kate. Here is a link to an article regarding the doctor (who is Slovak,not Romanian. apologies) and his research. http://www.radio.cz/en/section/ice_health/ milan-za…

  • Kate429 Said:
I'll have to research that and get back to you, but our anatomy professors referenced FICAT heavily, so I don't think they are just "a bunch of quacks".

Kate


Just want to apologize for my above rudeness. My only excuse is that I had just finished my USMLE step I that day. So I did a little research and it seems that your prof isn’t really that far behind the curve. There is very little research about it yet, but there is a little. The one that looked most useful to me was one in [Am J Surg Pathol] 2010 Jul; Vol. 34 (7), pp 950-5. Sorry, I’m no good at linking stuff up. It is by Kazakov et al, and it is a discussion of prostatic type tissue in the female genital tract. Kate will probably find more info than I did, so I will leave you to her much-wiser advice, but good luck in your search for light and truth

No problem. Thanks for your response.

seem to remember there was once a debate on the glands/prostate in a study on female ejaculation. Some theorized the gland was merely for lubrication, and was not the ejaculae in females capable of producing one. This was about two decades ago, so many of the controversies have been settled. At the time, I thought the quickest research to settle the matter would be a tracer fluid introduced to the gland, and then analyzed for it’s presence in the ejaculae. Seems this would also (if found) give more credence to the “female prostate” terminology being discussed.