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directed toward or situated on the back surface, as opposed to ventral. See also posterior.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Pertaining to the back or any dorsum. Synonym(s): tergal
2. Synonym(s): posterior (1)
3. In veterinary anatomy, pertaining to the back or upper surface of an animal. Often used to indicate the position of one structure relative to another; that is, nearer the back surface of the body.
4. Old term meaning thoracic, in a limited sense; for example, dorsal vertebrae.
[Mediev. L. dorsalis, fr. dorsum, back]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


1. Anatomy Of, toward, on, in, or near the back or upper surface of an organ, part, or organism.
2. Botany Of or on the surface of an organ or part facing away from the axis; abaxial.

dor′sal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


1. Pertaining to the back or any dorsum.
2. Synonym(s): posterior (2) .
[Mediev. L. dorsalis, fr. dorsum, back]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Relating to the back or towards the back. Compare VENTRAL.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


  1. (of an animal) the part that normally occurs uppermost. The back of an animal is called the dorsal surface. In primates in the upright position the dorsal surface is directed backwards.
  2. (of a plant) of, or situated on the side of an organ that is directed away from the axis. See also DORSIVENTRAL LEAF.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


Relating to either the back (posterior), or to the top in brain orientation. See magnocellular visual system; ventral.
Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009 Butterworth-Heinemann


Pertaining to the back or any dorsum.
[Mediev. L. dorsalis, fr. dorsum, back]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about dorsal

Q. Is there any reason behind this? a bipolar woman is mostly misdiagnosed for depression… there any reason behind this?

A. freebrid12 is right, and there's another thing- depression is a very common diagnosis amongst women and bipolar is less common. therefore psychiatrist tend to diagnose depression more then bipolar disorder.

Q. I have been having chronic pain in sinus area and behind my eyes, been to ENT who states it is not infection? I wake up with the pain and go to sleep in severe pain. Its all day and all night. Dr insists that its migraine related and allergy related. I have chronic postnasal drainage. It started 4 months ago when I moved into our new house. The pain makes me extremely fatigue and dizzy at times. I have been referred to the eye doctor, a headache specialist and an allergy specialist. Just recently I have had a CT scan and an MRI, as well as xrays of my sinus. Nothing other than a deviated septum and possible allergies from an ENT has been diagnosed. In the mean time I am waiting for the days to come when I can get into see these specialist. Anyone out there have any of the same symptoms?? Need help here. Soooooo sick of the pain.

A. i have chronic sinusitis and can really relate to what you describe. learned to live with the pain...but still, i use various ways to reduce inflammation in my sinuses, i heat the place up before going to sleep, try to avoid eating or drinking cold stuff.
another thing i do is i heat water (80c) then add a special oil i bought in a chinese medicine store , about 5 drops, and inhale the fumes. nettle tea can do wonders too.

Q. info on arachnoid cyst in the right posterior fossa

A. Basically it's like a small sac filled with fluid. The problem is that the skull is a rigid closed space, which means that if there's something other than the brain, it'll occupy space, usually on expense of the brains' space. These kinds of problems are often referred to as "space occupying lesion".

It's usually congenital (i.e. develops during pregnancy), and even when it cause symptoms they develop slowly.

YOu can read more here (

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References in periodicals archive ?
Sneaker males also commonly showed the "Plain" chromatic components, or (infrequently) "Dark mantle" and "White dorsal stripe" (Fig.
In contrast, "Dark dorsal stripe" (Hanlon et al., 1994) has previously been identified only as a chronic component, but was identified in our study as a short acute component (Table 1, and see above).
Many species of Aspidoscelis have color patterns, such as pale dorsal stripes, that undergo ontogenetic development.
The eastern chipmunk has a mixture of agouti and reddish-brown fur, with white and black dorsal stripes (Figure 1(b)).
mantle with a series of oblique brown dorsal stripes that might each be broken into a series of spots and two dorsal bands are present and internal structure of penis lacking circular pustulose ridge at atrial end P.
Dorsal surfaces are gray brown to olive, some females with a narrow area or yellow dorsal stripes with a series of diamond-shaped middorsal dark blotches.
laticeps in the study population are deep black above with five dorsal stripes. The lines are greenish-white anteriorly, but posteriorly they may be light blue or blue-white, and extend to about one-third the length of the tail.

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