Coronal Plane Definition
The coronal plane, also called the frontal plane, is an anatomical term describing an imaginary division between an organism’s dorsal and ventral halves. Dorsal indicates an area toward the back or spine, while ventral indicates the direction away from the spine, typically toward the ground. The coronal plane runs along the longitudinal axis, or from the mouth to the anus. The term proximal describes the direction toward the coronal plane, while distal describes the direction away from the coronal plane. The coronal plane can be contrasted with sagittal plane, which also runs along the longitudinal axis, but separates the left half of the animal from the right. The transverse plane runs perpendicular to the coronal plane. These terms can be seen on the trout below.
In human anatomy, the coronal plane and other anatomical terms apply to the same regions of humans as they describe in animals. Unlike most animals, humans exist in a vertical orientation, as opposed to a horizontal orientation. Therefore, the various planes and anatomical terms are represented in a vertical orientation. While this may look different than the anatomical presentation of an animal, the coronal plane still describes a plane that separates humans dorsoventrally, as seen in the following diagram.