Thoracic cavity


Thoracic cavity
Thoracic cavity
Latin cavitas thoracis
Gray's subject #136 524
Dorlands/Elsevier Thoracic cavity
Thoracic cavity seen from left. Lungs, among others removed.

The thoracic cavity (or chest cavity) is the chamber of the human body (and other animal bodies) that is protected by the thoracic wall (thoracic cage and associated skin, muscle, and fascia).

The thoracic area includes the tendons as well as the cardiovascular system which could be damaged from injury to the back, spine or the neck.

Contents

Components

Structures within the thoracic cavity include:

It contains three potential spaces lined with mesothelium: the paired pleural cavities and the pericardial cavity. The mediastinum comprises those organs which lie in the centre of the chest between the lungs.

Clinical significance

If the pleural cavity is breached from the outside, as by a bullet wound or knife wound, a pneumothorax, or air in the cavity, may result. If the volume of air is significant, one or both lungs may collapse, which requires immediate medical attention.

In animals

The viscera or organs (offal) of the thoracic cavity of butchered livestock are known collectively as the pluck while still connected together.

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • thoracic cavity — or chest cavity Second largest hollow space of the body, enclosed by the ribs, vertebral column, and breastbone and separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm. It contains the lungs and bronchi, part of the esophagus and trachea, and… …   Universalium

  • thoracic cavity — noun the cavity in the vertebrate body enclosed by the ribs between the diaphragm and the neck and containing the lungs and heart • Syn: ↑chest cavity • Hypernyms: ↑cavity, ↑bodily cavity, ↑cavum • Part Holonyms: ↑thorax, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • thoracic cavity — space inside the chest, anatomic cavity where the lungs and heart are located …   English contemporary dictionary

  • thoracic cavity — the chest cavity. See: thorax …   The new mediacal dictionary

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  • Thoracic splanchnic nerves — Nerve: Thoracic splanchnic nerves The right sympathetic chain and its connections with the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic plexuses. (Greater and lesser splanchnic nerves labeled at left.) …   Wikipedia


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