Planes of the Body

Planes of the Body

To identify the different sections of the body, anatomists use an imaginary flat surface called a plane. The most commonly used planes are midsagittal (median), coronal (frontal), and transverse (horizontal). The section is named for the plane along which it is cut. Thus, a cut along a transverse plane produces a transverse, or horizontal, section.

Planes of the Body

Table. Planes of the Body. This table lists planes of the body and their anatomical divisions.

Prior to the development of modern imaging techniques, standard x-ray images showed only a single plane, and many body abnormalities were difficult, if not impossible, to see. Current imaging procedures, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), produce three-dimensional images on more than one plane. Thus, structural abnormalities and body masses that were previously not found using a standard single plane x-ray are now detected with scanning devices that show images taken in several body planes.

READ:   Body Cavities

Body planes

Figure. Body planes. Note that the body is in the anatomical position.