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Haversian canal
Transverse Section Of Bone.png
Diagram of compact bone from a transverse section of a typical long bone's cortex.
Anatomical terminology
Diagram of a typical long bone showing both cortical (compact) and cancellous (spongy) bone.

Haversian canals[note 1] (sometimes canals of Havers, named after British physician Clopton Havers) are a series of tubes around narrow channels formed by lamellae. This is the region of bone called cortical bone. Osteons are arranged in parallel to the long axis of the bone. The haversian canals surround blood vessels and nerve cells throughout the bone and communicate with osteocytes in lacunae (spaces within the dense bone matrix that contain the living bone cells) through canaliculi. This unique arrangement is conducive to mineral salt deposits and storage which gives bone tissue its strength.

In mature compact bone most of the individual lamellae form concentric rings around larger longitudinal canals (approx. 50 µm in diameter) within the bone tissue. These canals are called haversian canals. Haversian canals typically run parallel to the surface and along the long axis of the bone. The canals and the surrounding lamellae (8-15) are called a haversian system or an osteon. A haversian canal generally contains one or two capillaries and nerve fibres.


External links[edit]


  1. ^ As with other medical eponyms, the adjective derived from the eponym's name is usually lowercased; thus haversian (but canal of Havers), fallopian, eustachian, and parkinsonism (but Parkinson disease); for more, see eponym > orthographic conventions.

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212 videos foundNext > 

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Haversian System and Spongy Bone structures.

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Haversian Canal Lecture.

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212 videos foundNext > 

1 news items

Medscape (registration)
Mon, 20 Aug 2007 00:00:00 -0700

Dr. Genes: Have you worked with some of the other med student bloggers to bring resources to your fellow med students -- such as Niels Olson of the Haversian Canal site (who occasionally blogs about his class notes and mnemonics) or Graham Walker, ...

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