Background Facts

Anatomical Terminology

Why are body planes important for identifying anatomical structure?

In order to observe and study the structural arrangement of the internal organs, the body may be divided and sectioned (or cut) along three fundamental planes. These planes are the midsagittal (median) plane, the coronal (frontal) plane, and the transverse (horizontal) plane. The midsagittal plane divides the body lengthwise into right and left sides. A sagittal section placed off-center divides the body into asymmetrical right and left sides. The coronal plane divides the body into front (anterior) and back (posterior) sections. The transverse plane divides the body into upper (superior) and lower (inferior) sections. It is at right angles to the sagittal and frontal planes.


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