Anatomical Divisions, Subdivisions and Cavities

Image of Abdominal Quadrants

Abdominal Quadrants. Image by BYU-I student Fall 2013

The image above shows the quadrants of the abdominal cavity. If you look close, you will find the little extension off the colon called the appendix in the right lower quadrant. Pressure in this area that elicits severe pain is often a sign of inflammation in the appendix.

Images of Cavities of the Body

Cavities of the Body. Image by BYU-I student Fall 2013

The images above show the “Cavities” of the body. The image on the left is a frontal view, and the image on the right is a mid-sagittal section.

Image of Anatomical Plane Sections

Anatomical Plane Sections. Image created by a BYU-Idaho student Fall 2013

This image shows the possible ways that a “plane” could section the body. The planes are like plexiglass that go through the body in three different orientations. It is a good idea to practice naming the plane that sections a body or body part.

Example: This picture below shows a skull that has been sectioned by the sagittal plane. The heart has been sectioned by the frontal or coronal plane.


Image result for grays anatomy

Sectioned View of Skull and Heart. These images are from Gray’s Anatomy Collection and are Public Domain.

Sometimes, an organ can be sectioned, and one cannot tell which plane sectioned the organ just by looking at the sectioned image. For example, when an organ wraps around and around in the body, it is not obvious where a single section came from in relation to the body as a whole. This is true with blood vessels and intestines. In these cases, the sections are named as being transverse, longitudinal, or oblique. The image below is an example.

Image of Various Sectioned Views of the Large Intestines

Various Sectioned Views of the Large Intestines. Image created by BYU-I student Fall 2013

This content is provided to you freely by BYU-I Books.

Access it online or download it at https://books.byui.edu/bio_264_anatomy_phy_I/113__anatomical_divi.