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Body Planes & Terms


Body Planes

In anatomy parts of the body are often described in terms of their position on the various body planes. There are three body planes whose orientations and descriptions are given below.

Coronal PlaneFrontal PlaneThe coronal plane is a verical plane that divides the body into front (Anterior) and rear (Posterior) sections.
Midsagittal PlaneLateral or Median PlaneThe midsagittal plane is a vertical plane that reaches from the top to the bottom of the body and divides it into left and right sections.
Axial PlaneTransverse or Horizontal PlaneThe axial plane is a horizontal plane that divides the body into inferior and superior sections.


Anatomical Terms

Anatomical TermDescription
AnteriorToward the front, Ventral
PosteriorToward the back, Dorsal
InferiorLower or below, closer to the feet
SuperiorUpper or above, closer to the head
MedialToward the mid-line of the body
LateralAway from the mid-line of the body
ProximalToward the center of the body
DistalAway from the center of the body
Cranial or CephaladToward the head
Caudal or CaudadToward the tail