Medical Orientation Words with Reference to the Body

(there are certain anatomic terms which present various situations; for example, a body part may be horizontal, as opposed to vertical; in front as opposed to being behind or at the back; above as opposed to being under, etc.)

The front, as opposed to the posterior; for example, the breastbone is part of the anterior surface of the chest.
anteroposterior, AP
From the front to the back, as opposed to posteroanteror.

When a chest X-ray is taken with the patient's back against the film plate and the X-ray machine is in front of the patient, it is referred to as an AP, or anteroposterior, view.

Going upward.

The ascending aorta is the portion of the aorta that ascends, going upward as it leaves the heart to form the beginning of the arch of the aorta.

Toward the feet (or tail, in embryology), as opposed to cranial.
Toward the head, as opposed to caudad.
Away from the exterior surface or farther into the body, as opposed to superficial.
Going down.

The descending aorta is the portion of the aorta that descends, going downward from the top of the arch of the aorta.

Farther from the beginning, as opposed to proximal or toward the beginning.
The back, as opposed to the ventral or the abdomen.
Situated on the outside.
A Latin prefix that indicates "outside of".
Parallel to the floor; a plane that passes through the standing body that is parallel to the floor.
Below, as opposed to superior or above.
Situated on the inside as opposed to the surface or exterior.
A Latin prefix indicating "within" as opposed to the "outside".

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