Anatomical Planes Of The Human Body
Anatomical planes. The main planes of the body are illustrated: median and sagittal (A) , frontal or coronal (B, C) , and transverse (axial) (C) .
- Head, gaze (eyes), and toes directed anteriorly (forward).
- Arms adjacent to the sides with the palms facing anteriorly.
- Lower limbs close together with the feet parallel.
This position is adopted globally for anatomicomedical descriptions. By using this position and appropriate terminology, you can relate any part of the body precisely to any other part. It should also be kept in mind, however, that gravity causes a downward shift of internal organs (viscera) when the upright position is assumed. Since people are typically examined in the supine position, it is often necessary to describe the position of the affected organs when supine, making specific note of this exception to the anatomical position.
Anatomical descriptions are based on four imaginary planes (median, sagittal, frontal, and transverse) that intersect the body in the anatomical position :
- The median plane ( median sagittal plane ), the vertical anteroposterior plane passing longitudinally through the midlines of the head, neck, and trunk where it intersects the surface of the body, dividing it into right and left halves . Midline is often erroneously used as a synonym for the median plane.
- Sagittal planes are vertical planes passing through the body parallel to the median plane . “Parasagittal” is commonly used but is unnecessary because any plane parallel to and on either side of the median plane is sagittal by definition. However, a plane parallel and near to the median plane may be referred to as a paramedian plane .
- Frontal (coronal) planes are vertical planes passing through the body at right angles to the median plane , dividing the body into anterior (front) and posterior (back) parts .
- Transverse planes are horizontal planes passing through the body at right angles to the median and frontal planes , dividing the body into superior (upper) and inferior (lower) parts . Radiologists refer to transverse planes as transaxial , which is commonly shortened to axial planes .
Source: Clinically Oriented Anatomy
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