Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Transverse plane

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Latin  plana transversalia
TA  A01.2.00.006
Dorlands /Elsevier  12644673
FMA  71928
Transverse plane

The transverse plane (also called the horizontal plane, axial plane, or transaxial plane) is an imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior parts. It is perpendicular to the coronal and sagittal planes.


It is one of the planes of the body used to describe the location of body parts in relation to each other. The other two commonly used terms are the coronal plane and the sagittal plane.

List of clinically relevant anatomical planes

  • Transverse thoracic plane
  • Xiphosternal plane (a.k.a. xiphosternal junction)
  • Transpyloric plane
  • Subcostal plane
  • Umbilical plane (or transumbilical plane)
  • Supracristal plane
  • Intertubercular plane (a.k.a. transtubercular plane)
  • Interspinous plane
  • Clinically relevant anatomical planes with associated structures

  • The transverse thoracic plane
  • Plane through T4 & T5 vertebral junction and sternal angle of Louis.
  • Marks the:
  • Attachment of costal cartilage of rib 2 at the sternal angle;
  • Arch of aorta (beginning and end);
  • Upper margin of SVC;
  • Thoracic duct crossing;
  • Tracheal bifurcation;
  • Pulmonary trunk bifurcation;
  • The xiphosternal plane (a.k.a. xiphosternal junction)
  • Anterior, inferior limit of thoracic cavity;
  • Marks the:
  • Superior surface of the liver;
  • Respiratory diaphragm;
  • Inferior border of the heart;
  • The transpyloric plane
  • Plane located halfway between the jugular notch and the upper border of the symphysis pubis;
  • Typically located at the lower border of L1;
  • Cuts through the pylorus and the tips of the ninth costal cartilages;
  • The subcostal plane
  • Transverse plane through the inferior border of costal margin;
  • Typically located at the superior border of L3, or transects L3;
  • The umbilical plane (or transumbilical plane)
  • Located at the level of L3/L4 vertebral junction or IV disc;
  • The supracristal plane
  • Located at the level of L4;
  • Marks bifurcation of aorta;
  • Most superior aspect of iliac crest;
  • The intertubercular plane (a.k.a. Transtubercular plane)
  • Located at the level of L5;
  • Marks origin of IVC;
  • The interspinous plane
  • Transverse plane which transverses the anterior superior iliac spines.
  • Typically located at the level of S1.
  • References

    Transverse plane Wikipedia