Lesson 9 - Anatomical Terms 2
Student Performance Objectives
1. Define each of the following sections with relation to the human body in the anatomical
position: longitudinal, transverse, sagittal, mid-sagittal, frontal, and mid-frontal.
2. Define the following body cavities and list the major organs found in each: dorsal, cranial,
spinal, ventral, thoracic, pleural, pericardial, abdominal, pelvic, oral, orbital, and nasal.
3. Define each of the following membranes indicating their anatomical position: parietal
pleura, visceral pleura, pericardial sac, epicardium, parietal peritoneum, visceral peritoneum,
mesentery, greater omentum, and lesser omentum.
A. Planes and Sections of the Body
1. Longitudinal cuts - cuts made parallel to the object's long axis.
a. Sagittal and mid-sagittal - cuts parallel to the long axis that divide the body
or object into right and left parts (or right and left halves for mid-sagittal).
b. Frontal and mid-frontal - cuts perpendicular to the long axis that divide the
body or object into front and back parts.
2. Transverse cuts (cross sections) - cuts made perpendicular to the object's long axis.
B. Application to the whole human body
C. Cavities of the body
1. Dorsal cavity
a. Cranial cavity - cavity containing the brain.
b. Spinal cavity - cavity containing the spinal cord.
2. Ventral cavity
a. Diaphragm as a landmark - separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
b. Thoracic cavity
1. Right and left pleural cavities - contain the right and left lungs.
2. Pericardial cavity - contains the heart.
c. Abdomino-pelvic cavity
1. Abdominal cavity - contains the abdominal viscera including the
liver, stomach, small intestine, spleen, and omenta.
2. Pelvic cavity - contains many organs including the ovaries, urinary
bladder, and rectum.
3. Retroperitoneal position - a structure located posterior to the
peritoneum - includes the kidneys, pancreas and abdominal aorta.
3. Miscellaneous cavities
a. Oral or buccal cavity - the mouth.
b. Orbital cavities - contain the eyeballs.
c. Nasal cavities - contain the nasal epithelium.
4. Membranes associated with the cavities
a. Thoracic cavity - Pleurae
1. Parietal pleura - slippery, membranous covering of the surface of the
thoracic cavity's walls.
2. Visceral pleura - is the outer, membranous, slippery covering of the
b. Pericardial cavity
1. Pericardial sac - encloses the heart.
2. Epicardium - is the heart's tightly adherent, slippery surface membrane.
c. Abdominal cavity - Peritoneum
1. Parietal peritoneum - slippery, membranous covering of the walls of
the abdominal cavity.
2. Visceral peritoneum - is the slippery surface of the abdominal organs.
3. Mesentery - the portion of the peritoneum that suspends the small
intestine in place.
4. Greater omentum - portion of the peritoneum that hangs over the
abdominal viscera, being firmly attached to the inferior border of the
5. Lesser omentum - also know as the ligamentum hepatogastricum - a connective tissue that
binds the liver and stomach together.