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Body Planes, Aspect, Direction and Position: Medical Term

Body Planes
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Transverse Plane

A transverse (also known as axial or horizontal) plane is an X-Z plane, parallel to the ground, which separates the superior from the inferior, or put another way, the head from the feet.

Coronal Plane

A coronal (also known as frontal or lateral) plane is a Y-X plane, perpendicular to the ground, which (in humans) separates the anterior from the posterior, the front from the back, the ventral from the dorsal.

Sagittal Plane

A sagittal (also known as anteroposterior) plane is an Y-Z plane, perpendicular to the ground, which separates left from right. The midsagittal plane is the specific sagittal plane that is exactly in the middle of the body.

Body Aspect- Side and Front view


Anterior or Ventral

Anterior (ventral) refers to the ‘front’.

Posterior or Dorsal

Posterior (dorsal) refers to the ‘back’.


Superior means ‘higher’.


Inferior means ‘lower’.


Lateral means ‘ side’.


In proximity to or ‘closer to’.


Distant or further away from.


Medial means middle.’


Prefix                          Meaning                                Example

ab-                                             away from                                           abduction

ad-                                             toward                                                  adduction

ecto, exo –                                outside                                                  exocrine, ectopic

endo –                                       within                                                    endoscopy

epi –                                           upon                                                       epidermis

infra –                                    below, under                                          infrastructure     

ipsi –                                         same                                                       ipsilateral

meso –                                     middle                                                     mesoderm

meta –                 after, beyond, transformation                           metastasis

peri-                                       surrounding                                           pericardium

retro-                                    behind, back                                            retro version

trans-                                  across, through                                       trans membrane





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