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.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.