Medically cephalocaudal (cephalo = head; caudal = tail or lower body) refers to something that occurs in the long axis of the body, specifically in regards from top to bottom.

For example, a rash that was spreading from the face to the neck, then to the chest followed by the abdomen, would be said to be spreading in a cephalocaudal fashion.

The cephalocaudal gradient of growth or cephalocaudal trend refers to the body's changing growth patterns, and spatial proportions, over time. The most obvious example of this is how a child's head, which seems disproportionately large when compared to the infant's body gradually becomes proportional as the child's body grows.

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