Proximal means nearer to the center (trunk of the body) or to the point of attachment to the body. If another reference point is given, such as the heart, the proximal point of another organ or extremity is the point closest to the heart -- central rather than peripheral.
Proximal is the opposite of distal.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.