Thoracic cavity Essay Example
The thoracic cavity, also known as the chest cavity is the region between the neck and diaphragm of vertebrate organisms and is enclosed by the thoracic wall. The major organs found in this cavity are the heart and lungs.
The cavity is majorly divided into three: the two pleural cavities and the mediastinum. The mediastinum lies between the two pleura and is itself divided into the upper potion, known as the superior mediastinum above the upper level of the pericardium, and the lower potion below the upper level of the pericardium. The lower potion is again subdivided into the anterior, middle and posterior mediastinum in relation to the pericardium and its content. The mediastinum is anteriorly surrounded by the chest wall, laterally by the lungs while the spine is posterior to it.
The mediastinum houses most of the organs in the chest cavity. The thymus, esophagus, trachea, great vessels and the thoracic duct are within the superior mediastinum. The posterior inferior mediastinum contains the thoracic aorta, azygos venous system, esophagus and the thoracic duct while the heart, root of great vessel and esophagus are contained in the middle inferior mediastinum. The anterior inferior mediastinum contains the thymus. The pleura caries the lungs with the right pleural cavity carrying the right lung while the left carrying the left lung (Gilroy & MacPherson, 2012).
Gilroy, A. & MacPherson, B 2012, Atlas of Anatomy, Thieme Publishers, New York.
Aspinall, V. & Cappello, M 2009, Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology Textbook LLC Books, 2011,
. Butterworth Heinemann/Elsevier, 2009Thorax: Rib, Thymus, Chest, Thoracic Cavity, Viscus, Esophagus, Thoracic Diaphragm, Chest Radiograph, Bronchus, Vertebrate Trachea, General Books LLC, Memphis.
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