Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.


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.
..... Click the link for more information.



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 ?
Primary Liposarcoma of pericardium is extremely rare.
Pulmonary arterioplasty may be performed concurrently, followed by reconstruction with fresh autologous pericardium.
In this case, myocardial tumoral infiltration extending from visceral pericardium supports the first hypothesis.
We report a case of long-gap esophageal atresia with primary anastomosis in which a major dehiscence occurred and was sucessfully repaired with pericardium.
Horses were submitted to laparoscopic procedure for bilateral homologous pericardium implant fixation covering the internal inguinal rings using manual or mechanical suture.
Pericardial effusion may demonstrate an increased amount of simple, nonenhancing fluid within the pericardium.
Normal pericardium shows low signal intensity on all pulse sequences.
Fresh caprine pericardium was procured from the local abattoir and immediately preserved in cold phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution.
The pericardial effusion was anechoic; the pericardium itself did not appear to be thickened or irregular.
According to a randomized trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with recurring pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium, the thin membrane surrounding the heart) who are treated with colchicine, a common gout medication, in combination with conventional anti-inflammatory therapy, experienced a significantly reduced rate of incessant or recurrent pericarditis.
Here Dunn tells the story of a Chicago surgeon who performed the first-known repair to the pericardium, the protective sac around the heart.
We used a Tutoplast(R) processed bovine pericardium to repair the defect of tunica albuginea.