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Related to parietal pericardium: visceral pericardium


see heartheart,
muscular organ that pumps blood to all parts of the body. The rhythmic beating of the heart is a ceaseless activity, lasting from before birth to the end of life. Anatomy and Function

The human heart is a pear-shaped structure about the size of a fist.
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the closed, saclike structure surrounding the heart in vertebrate animals and in man. The pericardium is an isolated part of the secondary body cavity, the coelom. It consists of two layers: an external, parietal layer—the pericardium proper—and an internal, visceral layer—the epicardium. The pericardium proper consists, in turn, of an internal, serous layer and an external, fibrous layer. The epicardium, being an external membrane of the heart, directly covers and is fused to the heart muscle (myocardium). In the region where large blood vessels enter and leave the heart, the epicardium is turned back and is continuous with the pericardium proper. Between the pericardium layers is a slitlike cavity containing a small quantity of transparent pale-yellow serous fluid. The pericardium contains blood vessels, lymphatics, and numerous nerve endings and is surrounded by areolar connective tissue. It has many receptors, whose stimulation causes hemodynamic and respiratory changes.


The membranous sac that envelops the heart; it contains 5-20 grams of clear serous fluid.


the membranous sac enclosing the heart
References in periodicals archive ?
Although normally the serous layer of parietal pericardium contacts the serous layer of visceral pericardium, up to 50 mL of fluid, which has a chemical composition similar to that of serum, normally is present in the pericardial sac (9).
In the adipose tissue beneath the visceral pericardium and on the mediastinal aspect of the parietal pericardium are located vascular channels, including arteries, veins, and lymphatics, and also nerves.
The deposits may be limited to the visceral and parietal pericardium immediately overlying the area of transmural necrosis or may spread to involve the pericardial surfaces diffusely.
Despite this adherence, the parietal pericardium rarely is thickened by operative intervention.