Cart 0

Our View Options & the Planes of the Human Body

In anatomy there are specific terms that are used to describe body structures and their positioning and orientation. These terms are unique to anatomy and are used to describe the anatomical location in a more precise way and in a way that is common amongst all those working in the field of anatomy. These planes are used to describe the divisions of the individual organs as well as the divisions of the human body.

A plane is an imaginary line and is a flat surface given to which the body can be divided following a specific direction. Each plane is determined by the position of three points in space. A description of each of the standard planes is given below.

A sagittal plane (or lateral) (or median) (or mid-sagittal) plane divides the body into right and left halves. This is a vertical plane starting from the top of the skull and going straight down to the feet passing through structures such as the naval and spine. Its called the sagittal plane because it starts through the line running along the top of the skull called the sagittal suture, that marks the fusion of the left and right halves of the skull.

A coronal plane (or frontal) plane is any vertical plane that divides the body right to left parts and therefore divides the body into front and back parts. This division of the left and right parts is termed anterior and posterior parts.

A transverse plane (or cross-section) (or axial) (or horizontal) plane passes perpendicular to the long axis of the body and or of a separate limb. This plane is parallel to the ground and divides the body into top and bottom parts. This division of the top and bottom part of the body is called superior and inferior portions.