Thoracic Cavity

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thoracic cavity

[thə′ras·ik ′kav·əd·ē]

Thoracic Cavity


the anterior (in man, the superior) portion of the body cavity in mammals, separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm.

The respiratory tract, lungs, esophagus, heart, thymus, and the bronchial and lymph nodes are all located in the thoracic cavity; blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves pass through it as well. The space in the thoracic cavity between the concave inner surfaces of the lungs, in which (in a special pericardial cavity) the heart is located, is called the mediastinum. The thoracic cavity is lined with a serous membrane called the pleura. The lungs are enclosed in the so-called pleural cavities, which are separate in man but communicate with one another in the majority of mammals. The shape of the thoracic cavity depends upon the shape of the thorax and the position of the diaphragm.

References in periodicals archive ?
Air moves in and out of them as a result of changes in the shape of the chest cavity.
The latter results from collapsed lungs as air enters the chest cavity through the arrow holes, which destroys the vacuum essential for keeping the lungs expanded to full volume.
Home Office pathologist for Avon and Somerset Hugh White, who was called in to carry out a postmortem examination, said a litre of blood was found in Miss Payne's chest cavity.
The toxic bacteria causes internal bleeding and deterioration of the chest cavity.
Surgeons also washed out the man's chest cavity to prevent infection, they said.
This powerful muscle almost divides your body in half between the chest cavity (containing the heart and lungs) and the abdomen (which contains the stomach, intestines, and other organs).
As Juhan writes, "Some of the most tangible and troublesome features of age itself are simply conditions of muscular activity, activities that bow the posture and rigidify the joints, that collapse the chest cavity, that put the squeeze on peripheral circulation, that create all kinds of limitations to movement and that waste precious vitality.
Cysts near or on the surface of the lung (blebs) can rupture and, as air leaks from the lung into the chest cavity (pneumothorax), the lung or a part of the lung can collapse, causing pain.
This abnormality allowed the stomach, ordinarily confined to the abdomen, to migrate upward into the left side of the patient's chest cavity.
Standard thoracic surgery often involves a thoracotomy, a major surgical procedure in which a long incision is made on one side of the patient's chest and the ribs are spread apart to gain access to the chest cavity.
It most commonly occurs in the chest cavity, but may also be present in the abdominal cavity or the cardiac cavity.
The initial report states that Reda suffered from severe internal hemorrhaging in the chest cavity leading to shock.