Anatomy in Clinical Research
Anatomy is often simply defined as the science concerned with the study of the structure of biological organisms. Within all biological organisms, and indeed most mechanical devices of far less complexity than the human body, structure and function are intimately related. Thus, a more accurate definition of contemporary human anatomy would be the study of structure and its relation to function in the human body.
The study of anatomy possesses specific importance in clinical research. To understand the pathology, it is very important to understand the anatomy. If you don’t know how the body operates when everything is normal; you can’t understand why we get sick when the body doesn’t operate. So the understanding of anatomy helps us to identify certain therapies that can bring back the body to normal state from being diseased.
Clinical trials often involve patients with specific health conditions who then benefit from receiving drug otherwise unavailable treatments. Clinical trials are performed to test whether particular treatments are safe and how well they work. We need to know: Does a treatment work? Does it work better than other treatments? Does it have any side effects? Clinical trials are designed to answer these questions and improve health and quality of life for patients. Until well-designed trials have been carried out, we simply do not have enough evidence to know if a treatment is both effective and safe.
When doctors make decisions about how to treat a particular illness or condition, they use their medical knowledge, based on the textbooks they have read, the results they have observed in previous patients, similar observations by their colleagues, what they have heard at conferences and what they have read in medical journals and manuscripts. Here the application of anatomy plays a vital role; the structural and functional changes obtained from the study can be analyzed with the knowledge of anatomy. There are many health conditions involved with structural and functional changes of specific organ systems, if these changes can be monitored carefully while performing a study, it would be easy to identify whether the investigational drug acts safer or not. The changes can be observed either visually or by performing specific chemical tests and scans.
The skeletal anatomy of all other used widely in the radiology studies to identify specific end points of the reports. Skeletal anatomy plays an important role in evaluating the images obtained from scanning reports. The structural differences can be clearly observed and compared with the healthy ones with the application of knowledge in skeletal anatomy. Clinical trial personnel should have basic understanding and knowledge of anatomy for effective clinical trial conduct.