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Anatomical Levels of Various Structures In the Human Body and Planes

From the MCQs oriented exams point of view, the anatomical levels and bony landmarks are very important. In each and every exam, whether it is USLME, PLAB, AMC or FCPS you will get two or three questions related to anatomical levels. So in this post, we present a list of important structures and their anatomical level and plane.
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Oropharynx and Soft Palate with Open Mouth
C2 Vertebra
Level of Hyoid bone
C3 Vertebra
Level of Thyroid cartilage
C4 & C5 Vertebrae
Level Bifurcation of Common Carotid Artery
C3 & C4 Vertebrae junction (disc)
Level of Cricoid Cartilage
C6 Vertebra
Level of Thyroid Lobe (Superior Extent)
Oblique line of thyroid cartilage
Level of Isthmus of Thyroid gland
Overlies the 2nd through 4th tracheal rings
Level of Thyroid Lobe (Inferior extent)
Sixth tracheal ring
Level of Superior angle of scapula
Overlies part of second rib – First intercostal space is superior to this angle
Level of Spine at root of scapula (medially)
Opposite third thoracic spine
Level of Inferior angle of scapula
Overlies part of seventh rib – Seventh intercostal space is inferior the angle
Level of Jugular or suprasternal notch
T2 & T3 vertebral junction (disc)
Level of Sternal angle (angle of Louis or manubriosternal joint)
T4 & T5 vertebral junction
Level of Tracheal bifurcation
T4 & T5 vertebral junction
Level of Concavity and ends of Aortic arch
T4 & T5 vertebral junction
Level of Azygos vein enters superior vena cava
T4 & T5 vertebral junction
Level of Origin of great vessels (eg brachiocephalic trunk, etc)
Approximately center of manubrium or first intercostal space which would put it at the level of the T3 & T4 vertebral junction
Level of Manubrium
T5 to T8 vertebrae
Level of Xiphisternal joint
T9 Vertebra
Extent of Superior mediastinum
From superior thoracic inlet to the horizontal plane passing from the sternal angle to the inferior border of T4 vertebra
Level of Pulmonary valve
Left second intercostal space, medial side
Level of Aortic valve
Right second intercostal space, medially
Level of Tricuspid valve
Right lower sternal border
Level of Apex of heart (mitral valve)
Fifth intercostal space
Level of Base of heart (supine position)
T5 to T8 vertebrae
Level of Base of heart (erect position)
T6 to T9 vertebrae
Level of Greater splanchnic nerve
T5 – T9 sympathetic ganglia
Level of Oblique fissure of lung
Level of Vena caval foramen
T8 Vertebra
Level of Esophageal hiatus
T10 Vertebra
Level of Lesser splanchnic nerve
T10 – T11 sympathetic ganglia
Least splanchnic nerve
T12 sympathetic ganglia
Level of Aortic hiatus
T12 Vertebra
Level of Median Arcuate Ligament of Respiratory Diaphragm
T12 & L1 vertebral junction
Level of Celiac trunk
L1 vertebra (superior border) / T12
Level of Superior Mesenteric Artery
L1 vertebra (inferior third)
Level of Inferior Mesenteric Artery
L3 vertebra
Level of Horizontal part of duodenum
L3 vertebra (subcostal plane)
Level of Right kidney Superior pole
T12 vertebra (superior border)
Level of Right kidney Inferior pole
L3 vertebra
Level of Hilum of right kidney
L1 vertebra (transpyloric plane)
Level of Left kidney Superior pole
T12 vertebra (superior border)
Level of Left kidney Inferior pole
L3 vertebra
Level of Hilum of left kidney
L1 vertebra

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