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Basic Medical Terminology

Planes and Directions on the Body

Planes of the Body -Frontal (coronal) Plane: Determines location towards the front or back of the body.. (Anterior/Ventral: front, Posterior/Dorsal: back) -Median (sagittal) Plane: Determines location towards the side or middle of the body. (Lateral:side, Medial: middle) -Horizontal (transverse) Plane: Determines location towards the top or bottom of the body. (Superior: above, Inferior: below) -----------------------------------------------------------------Proximal/Distal: close or far from the middle of the body. Locations/Directions on the Body above or upon-------------------epianterior, front------------------- anter/o back, behind, posterior------- poster/o back of body-------------------- dors/o belly side of body-------------- ventr/o far, farthest--------------------- dist/o (distal
head ---------------------------- cephal/o lower, below-------------------- infer/o middle -------------------------- medi/o near, nearest------------------ proxim/o (proximal) side, on one side-------------- later/o tail ------------------------------- caud/o toward -------------------------- -ad Examples: medi/ad, poster/o/later/al

body position:
Superior (cephalic) ------ above, toward the head Inferior (caudal) ------ below, toward the feet Anterior (ventral) ------ front or belly-side Posterior (dorsal) ------ back or spinal cord side Medial ------ middle or near the middle of the body Lateral ------ refers to the side Proximal ------ nearer to the point of attachment Distal ------ located farther away from the point of attachment Apex ------ tip or summit Base ------ bottom or lower part of the organ Superficial ------ move toward the surface of the body Deep ------ further away from the surface of the body Supine ------ facing upward Prone ------ facing downward

- joint movement terms


PLANE sagittal AXIS lateral* MOVEMENT flexion extension abduction adduction SPECIAL CASES hyperextension dorsiflexion/plantar flexion of ankle fingers/toes ulnar and radial deviation of wrist horizontal abduction of shoulder or hip subtalar joint midtarsal joint radio-ulnar jt

frontal

A-P

transverse

vertical rotation longitudinal pronation supination

multi-planar oblique

PROJECTION TERMINOLOGY
a. Frontal Projections . The body positions discussed earlier prepare t h e
patient for certain projections. T h a t is, t h e patient is so positioned that t h e central r a y will travel in t h e desired direction. The various projections may be grouped into four major categories frontal, lateral, oblique, a n d decubitus projections. The frontal (front to back or back to front) projections are t h e anteroposterior (AP) a n d posteroanterior (PA) projections. ( T h e term frontal is used to denote AP or PA projections because t h e frontal (or coronal) plane divides t h e body into anterior and posterior portions.) frontal or coronal plane. t h e plane dividing t h e body into anterior a n d posterior portions. frontal projection: an AP or PA projection.

(1) Anteroposterior projection . In t h e AP projection (figures 3-36 a n d 337), t h e central r a y enters t h e front (anterior) body surface a n d exits t h e back (posterior) surface

Figure 3-36. The dorsal recumbent position allows t h e central ray to travel in an anterior to posterior surface, producing an AP projection

. Figure 3-37. The patient on her back for an AP hip. MD0961 3-38

(2) Posteroanterior projection . In t h e upright position shown in figure 3-38,


t h e X-ray beam enters from t h e posterior body surface. T h u s , this position prepares t h e patient for a PA (posteroanterior) projection.

Figure 3-38. In this upright position, a PA projection is produced. b. Lateral Projections . Lateral projections are named for t h e side of t h e patient closest to t h e film. (Thus, body position a n d projection names are identical.) In a left lateral position (figure 3-39), t h e CR travels to t h e left lateral surface, t h u s producing a left lateral projection. If t h e patient is placed in t h e right lateral position with t h e right side of t h e body closest to t h e film (figure 3-40), he will be prepared for a right lateral projection.

Figure 3-39. A left lateral position produces a left lateral projection.

Figure 3-40. A right lateral position, results in a right lateral projection

c. Oblique Projections . (1) Positioning t h e patient . To obtain an oblique projection, t h e patient


must be positioned in an oblique body position. As you recall, in an oblique position t h e body part is rotated so that neither a frontal (AP or PA) n o r a lateral projection is produced. (2) Use of oblique projections . As stated earlier, oblique projections supplement AP a n d lateral views. (3) Naming oblique projections . Oblique projections are named for t h e side (right or left) a n d t h e body surface (anterior or posterior) closest to t h e film. There are three alternative names for t h e position s h o w n in figure 3-41. The patient's right side is closest to t h e film a n d that t h e central ray is traveling from a posterior to anterior surface. T h u s , this c a n be termed a left posterior to right anterior projection with the patient in t h e oblique body position. It c a n also be termed a right posteoanterior (PA) oblique projection. B u t most commonly, it is referred to as a right anterior oblique (RAO) projection. Right anterior oblique is t h e term used by most radiographers in the United States (US). It is still useful, however, to also be familiar with t h e other alternative names for each oblique projection. (In this text, t h e term RAO will be used.) In figure 3-42, t h e patient is in an oblique position with t h e left side closest to t h e film. The central ray is following a posterior to anterior direct this projection c a n be described using any of t h e three names listed in t h e caption. Again, most radiographers will call this a left anterior oblique (LAO) position. The remaining oblique projections are s h o w n in figures 3-43 a n d 3-44

. Figure 3-41. Right anterior oblique (RAO), left posterior to right anterior projection in t h e oblique body position, or right posteroanterior (PA) oblique projection

. Figure 3-42. Left anterior oblique (LAO), or right posterior to left anterior projection with t h e patient in t h e oblique position, or left posteroanterior (PA) oblique projection

Figure 3-43. A left posterior oblique (LPO) or left anteroposterior (AP) oblique projection or right anterior projection

. Figure 3-44. Right posterior oblique (RPO) or right anteroposterior oblique.

d. Decubitus Projections . To obtain a decubitus projection, t h e portent


must be in a decubitus (lying down) position. In addition, t h e central ray (CR) must be parallel to t h e horizon (horizontal). For most dacubitus protections t h e patient assumes a lateral decubitus position, that is, lying on either side. Like the lateral a n d oblique positions, decubitus positions are named according to t h e body surface on which the patient is lying. (1) Left lateral decubitus position . When t h e patient assumes t h e left lateral decubrtus position (figure 3-45), an AP radiographic projection is produced. S u c h a projection is particularly useful in diagnosing abdomen a n d chest air-fluid levels

. Figure 3-45. A left lateral decubitus position yields an AP projection

(2) Dorsal decubitus position . A right lateral projection is t h e radiographic


image produced when t h e patient assumes t h e dorsal decubitus position (figure 3-46).

Figure 3-46. A right lateral projection results when t h e patient is placed in t h e dorsal decubitus position.

(3) Ventral decubitus position . In t h e ventral decubitus position


(figure 3-47), a left lateral projection c a n be obtained

. Figure 3-47. A ventral decubitus position produces a left lateral projection