Abdominopelvic Divisions

   Body Quadrants

The abdominopelvic area of the body lies beneath the diaphragm. It holds the organs of digestion (abdominal area) and the organs of reproduction and excretion (pelvic area). Two anatomical methods are used to divide this area of the body for medical purposes:

  • quadrants
  • regions

Quadrants

Quadrants are four divisions of the lower torso used to show topographical location. They provide a means of locating specific sites for descriptive and diagnostic purposes. The divisions of quadrants are used in clinical examinations and medical reports. Pain, lesions, abrasions, punctures, and burns are commonly described as located in a specific quadrant. Incision sites are also identified by using body quadrants as the method of location. An imaginary cross passing through the navel identifies the four quadrants.

Body Quadrants

Table. Body Quadrants. This table lists the quadrants of the body, their corresponding abbreviations, and their major structures.

 Quadrants and regions

Figure. Quadrants and regions. (A) Four quadrants of the abdomen. (B) Nine regions of the abdomen.

Regions

Whereas the quadrants of the body are used primarily to identify topographical sites, the abdominopelvic regions are used mainly to identify the location of underlying body structures and visceral organs. For example, the stomach is located in the left hypochondriac and epigastric region; the appendix is located in the hypogastric region.

Abdominopelvic Regions

Table. Abdominopelvic Regions. This table lists the names of the abdominopelvic regions and their location.