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Terms of Position, Direction and the main Planes of human body anatomy

The Diagram below shows the chief terms of position and direction and the main planes of reference in the body.
*A convention whereby the body is erect, with the head, eyes, and toes directed forward and the upper limbs by the side and held so that the palms of the hands face forward "unlike the figure at left " . It is often necessary, however, to describe the position of the viscera also in the recumbent posture, because this is a posture in which patients are frequently examined clinically. 

*The median plane is an imaginary vertical plane of section that passes longitudinally through the body and divides it into right and left halves. The median plane intersects the surface of the front and back of the body at what are called the anterior and posterior median lines. It is a common error, however, to refer to the" midline" when the median plane is meant.

*Any vertical plane through the body that is parallel with the median plane is called a sagittal plane. The sagittal planes are named after the sagittal suture of the skull, to which they are parallel. The term "parasagittal" is redundant: anything parallel with a sagittal plane is still sagittal.

*The term horizontal plane refers to a plane at a right angle to both the median and coronal planes: it separates the body into superior and inferior parts. This is often termed an axial plane, particularly in radiology.

*The term transverse means at a right angle to the longitudinal axis of a structure. Thus, a transverse section through an artery is not necessarily horizontal. A transverse section through the hand is horizontal, whereas a transverse section through the foot is coronal !!

*The suffix "-ad" is sometimes added to a positional term to indicate the idea of motion. Thus, cephalad means proceeding toward the head. Such terms are useful occasionally in describing growth processes, but their application is best limited.

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