Anatomy directional terms

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  1. Anterior 
    • Nearer to or at the front of the body ex. sternum is anterior to the heart
    • In some cases this may refer to the lower part of an animal
  2. Posterior
    • Nearer to or at the back of the body ex. esophagus is posterior to the trachea
    • In some cases, it may refer to the top part of an animals body
  3. Superior (cephalic or cranial)
    Toward the head or the upper part of a structure; generally refers to structures in the trunk. ex. stomach is inferior to the lung. inferior vena cava
  4. Medial
    Nearer to the midline of the body or a structure ex. ulna is on the medial side of the forearm
  5. Lateral
    Away from the midline of the body ex. the lungs are lateral to the heart
  6. Ipsilateral
    On the same side of the body ex. gall bladder and ascending colon of the large intestine are ipsilateral
  7. Contralateral
    On the opposite side of the boddy ex. ascending and descending colons of the large intestine or contralateral
  8. Proximal
    Nearer to the attachment of an extremity to the trunk or structure ex. femur (thigh bone) is proximal to the tibia (shin bone)
  9. Distal
    Farther from the attachment of an extremity to the trunk of a structure. ex. phalanges (finger/toe bones) are distal to the carpals (wrist bones)
  10. superficial
    toward the surface of the body
  11. Deep
    Away from the surface of the body ex. ribs are deep to the skin of the chest
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Anatomy directional terms
2013-02-16 19:10:45

Technical terms in anatomy
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