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Body axis

German: Körperachse

1 Definition

Body axes are imaginary reference lines, which are used in antomy to describe orientation and location (topography) of anatomical structures.

Three main reference lines are commonly used, which run through the idealized balance point of the body and correspond to the commonly used geometrically reference lines X-, Y- and Z-axis.

2 Longitudinal axis

The longitudinal axis runs lengthwise through the human body and corresponds to the mathematically Y-axis respectively to the vertical axis. Thus, it runs from cranial to caudal (or the other way round) and can also be described as craniocaudal axis.

3 Sagittal axis

The sagittal axis pierces the human body arrow-like from dorsal to ventral (or the other way round) and accordingly corresponds to the Z-axis. Other descriptions are dorsoventral axis, series axis or depth axis.

4 Transverse axis

The transverse axis runs from the left half of the body to it's right half and corresponds to the x-axis. The x-axis can also be named left-right-axis or horizontal axis. Leaving the beginning of the imaginary transverse axis in the body balance point, it can be described as mediolateral axis as well.

5 Planes of the Body

In between of this three main axes, three planes of the body can be defined:

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Specialties: Anatomy

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