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Vet Nurse Diary: X-ray Positioning Terminology

Posted in Veterinary Nurse/Tech Blog @ Mar 10th 2021 - By Melissa Giles, Vet Nurse Diary
Vet Nurse Diary X Ray Positioning Terminology

Who doesn't love a little veterinary x-ray positioning and directional terminology??

We use many of these terms on a daily basis and so they often become second nature to us. But it's never a bad thing to review the terminology every now and then to make sure we understand what they mean (or where they mean) and then apply them correctly!

LATERAL

The X-ray entered from the side, away from midline of the patient's body. So, right lateral view means the patient needs to be lying on their right side.

VENTRAL

This refers to the lower surface of the patient opposite the back. The X-ray passes through the belly to the back surface.

DORSAL

This refers to the back or the upper surface of the patient. i.e. opposite the belly.

DORSOVENTRAL

This includes the back and the belly of the patient where the X-ray passes from the back surface to the belly.

PROXIMAL

This term means closer to the point of origin or closer to the midline of the patient.

DISTAL

This means away from the midline of the patient or referring to a structure that is located further from the point of origin.

ROSTRAL

This refers to a structure located closer to the nostrils from any point in the head.

CRANIAL

This refers to any structure closer to the patient's head from any part of the body.

CAUDAL

This refers to a structure that is closer to the patient's tail from any part of the body.

PLANTAR

This refers to the caudal surface of the patient's hind limb, distal to the tarsus.

PALMER

This refers to the caudal surface of the forelimb distal to the carpus.

CRANIOCAUDAL

This refers to the X-ray beam passing from the cranial surface of the patient to the caudal surface of a structure. So anterior to posterior.

CAUDOCRANIAL

This is where the X-ray beam passes from the caudal surface to the cranial surface of a structure. So posterior to anterior.

DORSOPALMER

This refers to views that are dorsal of the campus where the X-ray beam passes from the dorsal direction to the palmer surface of the forelimb. So going anterior to posterior.

PALMER DORSAL

Views distal to the campus, the X-ray beam passes from the palmer surface of the forelimb to the dorsal surface of the body; so posterior to anterior.

DORSOPLANTAR

Views distal to the tarsus, the X-ray beam passes from the dorsal direction to the plantar surface of the handling; anterior to posterior.

PLANTARDORSAL

Views distal to the tarsus, the X-ray beam passes from the plantar surface of the forelimb towards the dorsal surface of the body; posterior to anterior.

OBLIQUE

When the X-ray is taken at an angle other than 90 degrees to the area of interest

If you have any questions for Mel, ask them in the Comments section below.

About Mel

Mel was born in South Africa and always knew she needed to work with animals one day. She volunteered at a local Vet clinic as soon as she was able and fell even more in love with the profession. 

When she was 16 her family moved halfway across the world to Australia where she completed her schooling and immediately (2 weeks after her final exams) signed on to a clinic as a trainee Vet Nurse and began her nursing studies!

She hasn't stopped learning since and is incredibly excited by the future of Vet Nursing and all the things she has yet to learn and share! 

Follow Mel on Instagram by clicking HERE: vetnursediary_mel

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