TERMS OF POSITION AND DIRECTION
The planes of the body are imaginary lines dividing it into sections. These planes are used as reference points in locating anatomical structures. As shown in (Fig. 1) the sagittal plane divides the body into right and left halves on its vertical axis. This plane passes through the sagittal suture of the cranium; any plane parallel to it is called a sagittal plane. Frontal planes are drawn perpendicular to the sagittal lines and divide the body into anterior (front) and posterior (rear) sections.
This line passes through the coronal suture of the cranium; frontal planes are also called coronal planes. The horizontal, or transverse, plane, which is drawn at right angles to both sagittal and frontal planes, divides the body into superior (upper) and inferior (lower) sections.
To aid in understanding the location of anatomical structures, a standard body position called the anatomical position is used as the point of reference. This anatomical position is assumed when the body stands erect with the arms hanging at the sides and the palms of the hands turned forward (Fig. 2).
Figure 2.—Anatomical Position
Other commonly used anatomical terms include the following:
|David L. Heiserman, Editor||
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Revised: June 06, 2015