Supracristal plane

Supracristal plane (Planum supracristale) (or supracrestal plane) is an anatomical transverse plane lying at the upper most part of the pelvis, the iliac crest. This is usually at the level of the L4 vertebrae.[1] It passes through the umbilical region and the left and right lumbar regions.

Clinical Significance

The Supracristal plane can be used as a landmark for several nerve branches,[2] as well as an approximate marker for the umbilicus (belly button). It is also used as the divider between the lower (left and right) and upper (left and right) quadrants of the abdomen (where the vertical midline divides left from right).

It is also the level where the abdominal aorta bifurcates into the left and right common iliac artery.

It can help in the identification of the level of L4/L5 where a lumbar puncture can be done.


  1. MediLexicon: Supracristal Plane
  2. Tubbs, RS; et al. (2005). "Anatomical landmarks for the lumbar plexus on the posterior abdominal wall". J Neurosurg Spine. 2 (3): 335–338. doi:10.3171/spi.2005.2.3.0335. PMID 15796359.

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