Anatomical body plane

    Health professionals often refer to areas of the body in terms of anatomical planes (sections). These planes are lines (vertical or horizontal) that are conventionally drawn through the body. The name of such lines are used to describe a specific part of the body. The following are general anatomical terms and their meanings.


    Anatomical planes:

    Coronal plane or frontal plane

    Sagittal plane or lateral plane

    Axial plane or transverse plane







    Anatomical spatial terms:


    • Medial – To the midline of the body line
    • Lateral – From the midline of the body
    • Proximal – To the base point (to the limbs)
    • Distal – From the base point (from the limbs)
    • Posterior – Lower
    • Superior – Upper or higher
    • Cranial or Cranial – Head
    • Caudal or Caudal – Tail, tail end
    • Anterior – Forward-forward
    • Posterior – To the back
    • Dorsal – Rear
    • Ventral – Front

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    This site is for educational purposes only; no information is intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

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