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Thursday, August 4, 2011


Anatomical Position:
This is the position of the body chosen by the anatomists for descriptive purpose and for this, human body is regarded as standing erect with eyes looking forward and arms by the side with the palm of the hand directed forward.
The Anatomical position

Anatomical Planes: 
In order to study the relations of the deeper structures of a particular part, section is made through the part and the line of section is known as the plane of section. The following are the different planes through which sections are made for anatomical studies:
The top view of human skull to show sagittal and coronal suture

Sagittal plane:
Any vertical, anteroposterior plane that runs parallel to the sagittal suture of the skull, is known as the sagittal plane and a section through the median plane is often called as mid sagittal section and all other sections parallel to it are called para sagittal sections.

The anatomical planes

Coronal or frontal plane:
Any vertical, side to side plane that cuts the sagittal plane at right angle, is known as the coronal or frontal plane. It runs almost parallel to the coronal suture of the skull.

Transverse plane:
Any plane that cuts the long axis of the body or part of the body at right angle is known as the transverse plane.

Oblique plane:
Any plane of section that cuts the sagittal plane at an right angle is called an oblique plane.

Anatomical Relative terms:

Looking forwards or towards the front

looking backwards or towards the back

Looking upwards or above or higher or more cephalic

Looking downwards or below

Nearer the median plane or nearer the middle line of the body

Away from the middle line of the body

Ipsilateral or homolateral:
Refers to the same side of the body

Refers to the opposite side of the body such as the right arm is contralateral to the left leg.

Diagram of a human body to explain some of the anatomical relative terms

Anatomical terms used both in Man and Animal:

In human body it is described to denote 'towards the front of the body' or 'towards the belly' of the body but in animals it means differently to denote 'looking downwards' because the 'belly' in animal looks downwards.

Reverse to that of ventral or backwards the back.

Close to the head or headwards.

Away from the head or tailwards

Same as cranial

In the limbs the following terms are used with proximity of the any structures either nearer to the trunk or further from the trunk.

Nearer to the trunk.

Away from the trunk

Certain terms are used in respect of the hand and the foot only, such as palmar or volar (pertaining to the palm of hand) in the hand, and the plantar in the foot.