Body Planes / Body Cavities hste I



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Body Planes / Body Cavities

HSTE I


  1. Body Planes – Imaginary lines drawn through body to separate body into sections. Directional terms created by planes. Three main body planes:




  1. Transverse Plane – Horizontal plane, divides body into top half and bottom half.

  1. Directional Terms

  1. Superior – body parts above

  2. Inferior – body parts below




  1. Midsagittal (median) Plane – Divides body into right and left sides.

  1. Directional Terms

  1. Medial – body parts close to midline

  2. Lateral – body parts away form midline




  1. Frontal or Coronal Plane – Divides body into front section and back section

  1. Directional Terms

  1. Ventral or Anterior – Body parts in front of plane or in front of body

  2. Dorsal or Posterior – Body parts in back of plane or in back of body




  1. Directional Terms for Extremities in Relation to Trunk (point of reference)

  1. Proximal – Body parts close point of reference

  2. Distal – Body parts distant from point of reference

  3. Example – Relationship between wrist, elbow, and shoulder with shoulder being point of reference

  1. wrist is distal to elbow

  2. elbow is proximal to shoulder




  1. Body Cavities – Spaces within body that contain vital organs. Two main body cavities:




  1. Dorsal Cavity – One long, continuous cavity located on back of body. Divided into to two sections:

  1. Cranial Cavity – contains the brain

  2. Spinal Cavity – contains the spinal cord




  1. Ventral Cavities – Larger than dorsal cavity, separated into two cavities by diaphragm

  1. Thoracic Cavity – located in chest and contains heart, lungs, and large blood vessels.

  2. Abdominal Cavity – divided into upper and lower part.

  1. Upper Abdominal Cavity – contains stomach, small intestine, most of large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen.

  2. Lower Abdominal Cavity or Pelvic Cavity – contains urinary bladder, reproductive organs, and last part of large intestine




  1. Three Small Cavities

  1. Orbital Cavity – contains eyes

  2. Nasal Cavity – contains nose structures

  3. Buccal – contains mouth


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