21
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
8.
Ipsilateral
refers to structures on the same side. (The
right lung and the right kidney are ipsilateral.)
9.
Contralateral
refers to structures on the opposite side.
(A patient with a fractured right leg would have to bear
weight on the contralateral—in this case, left—lower
limb.)
10.
Proximal
describes a part closer to the trunk of the
body or closer to another speciF
ed point of reference
than another part. (The elbow is proximal to the wrist.)
11.
Distal
is the opposite of proximal. It means a particular
body part is farther from the trunk or farther from
another speciF
ed point of reference than another part.
(The F
ngers are distal to the wrist.)
12.
Superf
cial
means near the surface. (The epidermis is
the superF
cial layer of the skin.)
Peripheral
also means
outward or near the surface. It describes the location
of certain blood vessels and nerves. (The nerves that
branch from the brain and spinal cord are peripheral
nerves.)
13.
Deep
describes more internal parts. (The dermis is the
deep layer of the skin.)
Relative Position
Terms of relative position are used to describe the location of
one body part with respect to another. They include the fol-
lowing (many of these terms are illustrated in
f
gure 1.20
):
1.
Superior
means a part is above another part, or closer
to the head. (The thoracic cavity is superior to the
abdominopelvic cavity.)
2.
InFerior
means a part is below another part, or toward
the feet. (The neck is inferior to the head.)
3.
Anterior
(or ventral) means toward the front. (The eyes
are anterior to the brain.)
4.
Posterior
(or dorsal) is the opposite of anterior; it means
toward the back. (The pharynx is posterior to the oral
cavity.)
5.
Medial
refers to an imaginary midline dividing the body
into equal right and left halves. A part is medial if it is
closer to this line than another part. (The nose is medial
to the eyes.)
6.
Lateral
means toward the side with respect to the
imaginary midline. (The ears are lateral to the eyes.)
7.
Bilateral
refers to paired structures, one on each side.
(The lungs are bilateral.)
Superior
Inferior
Medial
Lateral
Midline
Right
Left
Proximal
Distal
Proximal
Distal
Anterior
(Ventral)
Posterior
(Dorsal)
FIGURE 1.20
Relative positional terms describe a body part’s location with respect to other body parts.
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