When working with patients, doctors use vertebral levels to ascertain the position of essential anatomical structures inside body regions.

The horizontal plane going through the disk that divides thoracic vertebrae TIV and TV is among the very crucial planes in the body because it:

  • goes through the sternal angle anteriorly, indicating the position of the anterior articulation of the costal cartilage of rib II with the sternum. The sternal angle is utilized to discover the position of rib II as a benchmark for counting ribs (due to the overlying clavicle, rib I isn’t palpable);
  • splits the superior mediastinum from the inferior mediastinum and indicates the position of the superior limit of the pericardium;
  • marks where the arch of the aorta starts and finishes;
  • goes through the site where the superior vena cava enters the pericardium to goes into the heart;
  • is the level at which the trachea bifurcates into left and right primary bronchi; and
  • indicates the superior limit of the pulmonary trunk.
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