pericardium

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Related to pericardia: pericarditis, Pericardial effusion

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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pericardium

 

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 Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

pericardium

[‚per·ə′kärd·ē·əm]
(anatomy)
The membranous sac that envelops the heart; it contains 5-20 grams of clear serous fluid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pericardium

the membranous sac enclosing the heart
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005