From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Sagittal Plane - a vertical plane which passes from front to rear dividing the body into right and left sections
- The terms median plane or mid-sagittal plane are sometimes used to describe the sagittal plane running through the midline. This plane cuts the body into halves (assuming bilateral symmetry), passing through midline structures such as the navel and spine. It is one of the lines defining the right upper quadrant of the human abdomen.
- It is also worth mentioning that, terms such as parasagittal are sometimes used to describe a plane parallel to the midline, however, this term is unncessary since, any plane parallel to and on either side of the medial plane is sagittal by definition.
- In general, planes that are parallel to the sagittal plane, but do not pass through the midline, are known as parasagittal.
The term is derived from the Latin word Sagitta, meaning "arrow". An image of an arrow piercing a body and passing from front (anterior) to back (posterior) on a parabolic trajectory would be one way to demonstrate the derivation of the term. Another explanation would be the notching of the sagittal suture posteriorly by the lambdoidal suture—similar to feathers on an arrow.
Sagittal axis: Sagittal axis is the axis perpendicular to the sagittal plane, i.e. the sagittal axis is formed by the intersection of the coronal and the transversal planes. Abduction and adduction are terms for movements of limbs relative to the coronal plane.
Coronal (or frontal) axis: Coronal axis is the axis perpendicular to the coronal plane, i.e. the coronal axis is formed by the intersection of the sagittal and the transversal planes. Extension and flexion is the movement of limbs relative to the sagittal plane.