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ALPHABETICAL INDEX
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
LINKS TO THE VIRTUAL HUMAN BODY
palatine bone
Unpaired bone forming the back of the hard palate.

palatine tonsil
Each of two lymphoid organs located behind the buccal cavity, on either side of the palatine uvula, protecting the airways by fighting bacteria.

palatine uvula
Mobile fleshy extension of the soft palate, contributing to closing the nasopahrynx during swallowing.

palatopharyngeal arch
Membranous fold connecting the base of the palatine uvula to the pharynx.

palm of hand
Inner side of the hand, corresponding to the metacarpus.

palmar aponeurosis
Thick triangular-shaped fibrous membrane covering the tendons of the flexor muscles of the fingers.

palmar branch of ulnar nerve
Branch of the ulnar nerve, innervating the skin of part of the palm, ring finger and little finger.

palmar carpal branch of ulnar artery
Branch of the ulnar artery, joining the corresponding branch of the radial artery to irrigate the joints of the carpus.

palmar digital veins
Veins of the fingers, ending at the superficial palmar venous arch.

palmar interosseous muscles
Muscles occupying the palmar part of the intermetacarpal spaces; they allow the fingers to bend and move toward each other.

palmar ligaments
Dense ligaments connecting various bones of the hand.

palpebral part of orbicular muscle of eye
Part of the orbicular muscle of the eye contained in the eyelids.

papillary muscles
Internal ventricular muscles limiting movement of the mitral or tricuspid valve and preventing it from being pushed back into the atrium during contraction of the ventricle.

parahippocampal gyrus
Convolution of the temporal lobe, bounded by the fourth collateral sulcus and formed by the hippocampal sulcus.

parietal bone
Paired bone making up the largest part of the roof of the skull.

parietal branch of superficial temporal artery
Terminal branch of the superficial temporal artery, irrigating the parietal part of the scalp.

parietal lobe
Cerebral lobe located in the middle part of the brain, involved in taste, touch, pain and language comprehension.

patella
Short paired bone, triangular in shape, articulating with the femur at the knee.

patellar ligament
Thick ligament extending from the patella to the tibial tuberosity; it assists in stabilizing the knee joint.

pectinate muscles
Prominent muscular ridges of the inner wall of the two auricles and right atrium of the heart.

pectineal muscle
Muscle connecting the pubis to the upper part of the femur; it assists the thigh to flex and move toward the axis of the body (adduction).

pectoral branches of thoracoacromial artery
Branches of the thoracoacromial artery, irrigating the pectoral muscles; in women, it also irrigates the mammary glands.

pelvic girdle
Region of the body joining the lower limbs to the trunk and corresponding to the pelvis.

pelvis
Bony girdle consisting of the sacrum, coccyx and two iliac bones, joining the bones of the lower limbs to the axial skeleton.

penis
Male genital organ located on the exterior of the body and having a urinary and sexual function.

perforating arteries
Branches of the deep femoral artery, irrigating the abductor and gluteus muscles.

perforating branch of fibular artery
Branch of the fibular artery, irrigating mainly the ankle; it crosses the interosseous membrane, hence its name.

perforating veins
Veins carrying blood from the lateral vastus and hamstring muscles to the deep femoral vein.

pericardium
Envelope of connective tissue, formed of several layers, surrounding the heart and protecting it.

perineal nerves
Branches of the pudental nerve, innervating the muscles and skin of the perineum.

peritoneum
Serous membrane consisting of two layers, lining the internal walls and covering the organs of the abdominal cavity and ensuring its maintenance.

phalanges of fingers
Long bones forming the skeleton of the fingers. Each finger has three phalanges, except the thumb, which has two.

phalanges of toes
Long bones forming the skeleton of the toes of the feet. Each toe has three phalanges, except for the big toe, which has two.

pharyngeal opening of auditory tube
Opening of the lower extremity of the auditory tube.

pharyngeal tonsil
Each of two lymphoid organs located in the oropharynx and filtering pathogens from the air.

pharynx
Channel located in the upper part of the throat, connecting the nasal cavity to the larynx, as well as the buccal cavity to the esophagus; it serves as a passageway for air and food.

phrenic nerve
Nerve originating from the fourth cervical rachidian pair, innervating the diaphragm.

phrenicocolic ligament
Fold of the peritonium, connecting the left colic angle to the diaphragm.

pineal gland
Endocrine gland located in the brain, secreting melatonin and influencing the formation of spermatozoa or the menstrual cycle.

pisiform bone
Bone of the upper row of the carpus; it is the smallest of the carpal bones.

pituitary gland
Endocrine gland located at the base of the brain, controlled by the hypothalamus, directly secreting six hormones, several of which regulate the activity of other endocrine glands.

plantar interosseous muscles
Muscles connecting the third, fourth and fifth metatarsals to the proximal phalanges of the third, fourth and fifth toes; they allow the toes to move toward the axis of the foot (adduction).

plantar muscle
Small muscle connecting the femur to the calcaneus; it assists in the plantar flexion of the foot.

platysma
Muscle covering the anterior side of the neck, allowing the skin to be drawn.

pons
Central part of the brain stem made of nerve fibers, connecting the spinal cord, cerebellum and brain.

popliteal artery
Extension of the femoral artery, irrigating the regions of the knee and upper calf.

popliteal lymph nodes
Nodes located in the region of the popliteal fossa, draining lymph from various regions of the knee, leg and foot.

popliteal vein
Vein formed by the union of the posterior and anterior tibial veins and extending via the femoral vein.

postcentral gyrus
Convolution of the parietal lobe bounded by the central and postcentral sulci.

posterior auricular muscle
Muscle connecting the mastoid process to the cartilage of the ear; it pulls the ear slightly up and back.

posterior belly of digastric muscle
Part of the digastric muscle connecting the temporal bone to the hyoid bone, enabling movement of the hyoid bone upward and forward, thereby moving the tongue.

posterior cerebral artery
Terminal branch of the basilar artery, irrigating the occipital lobe of the brain.

posterior circumflex humeral artery
Branch of the axillary artery, irrigating the shoulder joint, as well as the deltoid, triceps and small round muscles.

posterior circumflex humeral vein
Vein of the posterior part of the shoulder, emptying into the axillary vein.

posterior communicating artery
Artery connecting the internal and posterior cerebral carotid arteries.

posterior cord
Bundle of nerve fibers of the brachial plexus, giving rise to the subscapular, thoracodorsal, axillary and radial nerves.

posterior cruciate ligament
Ligament located inside the articular capsule of the knee and connecting the femur to the tibia; it restrains backward movement of the tibia.

posterior cutaneous nerve of forearm
Branch of the radial nerve, innervating the skin of the forearm.

posterior cutaneous nerve of thigh
Branch of the sacral plexus, innervating the buttock and posterior part of the thigh.

posterior inferior iliac spine
Bony protrusion of the posterior part of the ilium, located beneath the posterior superior iliac spine.

posterior intercostal arteries
Branches of the thoracic cage, irrigating the intercostal vertebrae and spaces.

posterior intercostal veins
Veins running along the posterior part of the intercostal spaces.

posterior interosseous artery
Branch of the common interosseous artery, irrigating the posterior part of the forearm.

posterior interosseous nerve of forearm
Branch of the radial nerve, especially innervating the extensor muscles of the forearm.

posterior interosseous veins
Veins running across the posterior part of the forearm to the ulnar veins.

posterior interventricular artery
Branch of the right coronary artery, irrigating the posterior part of the ventricles and interventricular septum of the heart.

posterior perforated substance
Inferior and posterior part of the interpeduncular fossa, pierced with openings allowing the passage of several branches of the posterior cerebral artery.

posterior root of spinal nerve
Area where the sensory nerve fibers of a spinal nerve attach to the spinal cord.

posterior scalene muscle
Muscle connecting the transverse processes of certain cervical vertebrae (fourth to sixth) to the second rib; it especially allows the second rib to be lifted.

posterior superior iliac spine
Bony protrusion of the posterior part of the ilium.

posterior tibial artery
Terminal branch of the popliteal artery, running along the posterior compartment of the leg and irrigating the back of the leg and sole of the foot.

posterior tibial muscle
Muscle connecting the tibia and fibula to the bones of the tarsus and metatarsus; it especially allows extension (or plantar flexion) of the foot.

posterior tibial veins
Veins of the posterior side of the leg, joining with the anterior tibial veins to form the popliteal vein.

posterior veins of left ventricle
Veins returning blood from the posterior part of the left ventricle to the coronary sinus.

preauricular lymph nodes
Nodes located in front of the ear.

precentral gyrus
Convolution of the frontal lobe bounded by the precentral and central sulci.

premolar
Each of eight teeth located between the canines and molars, having one or two roots and serving to grind food.

princeps pollicis artery
Branch of the radial artery, irrigating the thumb in back.

procerus muscle
Facial muscle connecting the nasal bone to the skin of the forehead; it allows the skin between the two eyebrows to be lowered.

pronator quadratus muscle
Muscle connecting the ulna to the radius, allowing inward rotation of the forearm (pronation).

proper palmar digital arteries
Branches of the common palmar digital arteries, numbering two per finger.

proper palmar digital nerves
Branches of the common palmar digital nerves, innervating the fingers.

prostate
Male gland located beneath the bladder; its secretions constitute about 30% of the sperm.

prostatic sinus
Enlarged part of the ureter at the prostate.

proximal phalanx of fourth toe
First phalanx of the fourth toe, connected to the fourth metatarsal.

proximal phalanx of great toe
First phalanx of the big toe, connected to the first metatarsal.

proximal phalanx of index finger
First phalanx of the index finger, connected to the second metacarpal.

proximal phalanx of little finger
First phalanx of the little finger, connected to the fifth metacarpal.

proximal phalanx of little toe
First phalanx of the little toe, connected to the fifth metatarsal.

proximal phalanx of middle finger
First phalanx of the middle finger, connected to the third metacarpal.

proximal phalanx of ring finger
First phalanx of the ring finger, connected to the fourth metacarpal.

proximal phalanx of second toe
First phalanx of the second toe, connected to the second metatarsal.

proximal phalanx of third toe
First phalanx of the third toe, connected to the third metatarsal.

proximal phalanx of thumb
First phalanx of the thumb, connected to the first metacarpal.

pubic hairs
Hairs covering the lower abdominal region beginning in puberty.

pubic symphysis
Cartilaginous joint connecting the two bones of the pubis.

pubic tubercle
Bony anterior superior protrusion of the pubis.

pubis
Anterior part of the iliac bone articulating at the pubic symphysis.

pudendal nerve
Nerve arising from the sacral plexus, innervating mainly the skin and muscles of the perineum.

pulmonary trunk
Blood vessel carrying deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the two pulmonary arteries.

pulmonary valve
Elastic structure preventing reverse flow of the blood of the pulmonary trunk to the right ventricle.

pupil
Circular opening located at the center of the iris through which light enters the eye.

pyloric canal
Narrow part of the pyloric antrum of the stomach, preceding the pylorus.

pyloric part of stomach
Lowest part of the stomach, formed by the pyloric antrum and the pylorus.

pyloric sphincter
Ring-like muscle surrounding the pylorus of the stomach; its constriction and release regulates the passage of food into the duodenum.

pylorus
Lower orifice of the stomach, connecting with the duodenum.

pyramid
Each of two masses of motor fibers located on either side of the median sulcus of the medulla oblongata.