Anatomy word of the month: salpinx

June 1, 2011 —

Salpinx means “trumpet” in Greek , that is, a tube-shaped structure with a flared opening. The term is not used alone, but as a root or central meaning in numerous words referring to the uterine tubes. Examples of these terms are: salpingitis (inflammation of), salpingectomy (removal of), hematosalpinx (bleeding within). You may be more familiar with “fallopian tubes”.

By the way, fallopian doesn’t mean anything. It is a term called an eponym, the traditional practice of naming anatomical structures in honor of their discoverer. The uterine tubes, or fallopian tubes, are named for Gabriello Fallopio, a sixteenth century Italian anatomist.


Dr. Dyche was born in New Jersey and trained at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center before coming to Des Moines in 1976. Over 30 plus years he has taught gross anatomy, embryology and neuroanatomy. He also served in administration as associate dean for basic sciences, dean of the College of Health Sciences, and acting director of the PA program. He was one of the founding instructors of CPR and ACLS at a time when few medical schools offered this training. He retired to Oregon in 2008, then returned to DMU in 2009. Did he miss the tornadoes, the below zero wind chills or the cadavers?