It was just over a hundred years ago that Johannes Sobotta set
out to publish the first edition of his Atlas of Human Anatomy.
Since then, this piece of work has evolved step by step as a re-
sult of the constant interaction between students, lecturers and
editors. It has not only been the most modern basis for the com-
plex subject of macroscopic anatomy throughout many genera-
tions of doctors, but has also developed into a lasting work of
reference for both clinical training and advanced medical educa-
tion. All in all, it has become a book for a medical doctor's life
Once again, in this new edition the additional figures have been
drawn strictly on the basis of original specimens.
The 14th edition has been particularly designed to meet the de-
mands of a reformed medical curriculum, emphasizing the inte-
gration of clinical medicine into the preclinical curriculum. For
this purpose, the new edition has been extended to include the
following features:
- Surface anatomy including projection of internal organs
(4-5 colour photos)
- Anatomical diagrams next to imaging figures
- Integration of imaging techniques to a greater extent [ultra-
sound, X-ray, CT, MRI; 119 figures)
- Endoscopic, intraoperative colour images and figures exem-
plifying techniques of puncture and examination [54- figures)
- Images of patients presenting with typical palsies
- Diagrams of the most important arterial variations (93 figures)
- Frequent variations in the location of internal organs [24 fig-
- Integration of histology at low magnification of important in-
ternal organs (intestine, liver, kidney, etc.)
In order to improve the presentation of the knowledge, the fol-
lowing features have been introduced:
- Clear-cut arrangement of the chapters according to the differ-
ent regions of the body
- Thematically corresponding figures presented on double pages
- A concise, separate booklet (included in Volume 1) contains
tables of muscles, joints and nerves, enabling the reader to
place it next to any figure in the atlas
One particular aim of the new edition is to facilitate finding of
specific structures. The SOBOTTA depicts anatomical structures
precisely without the reader loosing the greater picture. There-
fore, specific didactic tools have been improved and new aspects
- Each chapter has been allocated to a particular colour
- A "menu bar” on each double page ensures precise orienta-
tion within a given chapter
- The number of outlines depicting spatial orientation has been
significantly increased (270 figures)
- Overviews of total body regions ensure general orientation
- New diagrams of particular muscles clarify their location and
course (24 figures)
- Confusion is kept to a minimum by only depicting limbs of the
right side of the body
- "Compass roses" point to adjacent figures, thus facilitating
following a given structure over several pages
- Continuous leader lines facilitate finding of structures
- Coloured dots at the end of leader lines in topographic dia-
grams mark arteries, veins, nerves, and muscles
- The figures in the booklet relate directly to the figures in the
- The larger dimensions of the book improve clarity
With the exception of discussions about the general concept of
the atlas and mutual correction, the editors have worked sepa-
rately on individual chapters, with the work divided as follows:
R. Putz:
General anatomy, upper limb, brain, eye, ear, back,
lower limb;
R. Pabst: Head, neck, thoracic and abdominal walls, thoracic,
abdominal and pelvic viscera.
The inclusion of a large number of new figures is the result of
the extraordinary capability of the following medical illustrators:
Ulrike Brugger, Rudiger Himmelhan and Horst RuR. It is to
their credit that the classic "SOBOTTA style" has been retained.
Several of the diagrams have been generated on the computer
by Henriette Rintelen. We also gratefully acknowledge our clini-
cal colleagues for making clinical illustrations available to us
(see picture credits). We owe a debt of gratitude to our col-
leagues from the institutes for their understanding and helpful
suggestions. Dr. N, Sokolov and A. Buchhorn have put meticu-
lous efforts into generating the specimen preparations. S. Fryk
and G. Hoppmann have supported us in text processing.
The staff of the editorial office of Elsevier publishers, in particu-
lar Dr. D. Hennessen and A. Gattnarzik, has our sincere thanks.
Some of the creative development of the work is a result of very
fruitful discussions. We would also like to thank R. Hausdorf for
tremendous efforts in the production of the atlas. R. Putz to-
gether with G. Meier were responsible for the proofreading and
simplification of page design and legends. Our special thanks
go to Dr. U. Osterkamp-Baust for generating the index, and all
others involved in the corrections. With our joint efforts, the
SOBOTTA has been once more modernized both in contents and
We have included many of the helpful suggestions made over
the years by students and colleagues, and would therefore ask
all readers of this edition to pass on to us any criticism or sug-
gestions on the new format of this atlas.
Munich and Hannover, September 2005
R. Putz and R. Pabst
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