Anatomical Terms: Human Body Planes

Anatomical Terms: Human Body Planes


When you need to explain the location of structures
within the body, it is helpful to establish different points of view and get a 3 dimensional
or spatial sense of that structure. Unlike anatomical directional terms, anatomical planes
allow us to do just that. In medicine, these planes have many uses. They are used to describe
anatomical motion, to develop 3 dimensional imaging of specific internal structures, and
to describe cuts, called sections, which are made during medical examination of organs.
In this video we will cover sections made along the transverse, sagittal, and coronal
planes of the anatomical position. A sagittal section is a vertical cut which
divides the body into left and right parts. You can make this cut along any part of the
body. If the cut does not result in a symmetrical left and right side it is called a parasagittal
section. On the other hand, a mid-sagittal section
is made if the cut is directly along the midline of the body. Note that the mid-sagittal section
or median plane divides the body into symmetrically equal right and left sides. A frontal or coronal section is any vertical
cut that divides the body into front and back. Here are some examples. Lastly, a transverse or cross section is any
horizontal cut that divides the body into top and bottom.

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