Anatomic Directional Terms

  1. Anterior
    • in front of; toward the front surface
    • e.g. stomach is anterior to the spinal cord
  2. Posterior
    • In back of; toward the back surface
    • e.g. heart is posterior to sternum
  3. Dorsal
    • Toward back side of human body
    • e.g. Spinal cord is on the dorsal side of the body
  4. Ventral
    • Toward the belly side of the human body
    • e.g. The Umbilicus (navel, belly button) is on the ventral side of the body
  5. Superior
    • Closer to the head
    • The chest is superior to the pelvis
  6. Inferior
    • Closer to the feet
    • Stomach is inferior to the heart
  7. Caudal
    • at the rear or tail end
    • Abdomen is caudal to the head
  8. Cranial (cephalic)
    • at the head end
    • Shoulders are cranial to the feet
  9. Rostral
    • Toward the nose or mouth
    • Frontal lobe is rostral to the occipital lobe
  10. Medial
    • Toward midline of the body
    • The lungs are medial to the shoulders
  11. Lateral
    • Away from midline of the body
    • The arms are lateral to the heart
  12. Ipsilateral
    • On the same side
    • Right arm is ipsilateral to the right leg
  13. Contralateral
    • On the opposite side
    • The right arm is contralateral to the left leg
  14. Deep
    • On the inside, internal to another structure
    • The heart is deep to the ribcage
  15. Superficial
    • On the outside, external to another structure
    • The skin is superficial to the biceps brachii muscle
  16. Proximal
    • Closest point of attachment to trunk
    • The elbow is proximal to the hand
  17. Distal
    • Furthest point of attachment to trunk
    • The wrist is distal to the elbow
Card Set
Anatomic Directional Terms
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