Chest cavity

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Overview of the individual body cavities

The thoracic cavity ( Cavitas thoracis , Cavitas thoracica , outdated Cavum thoracis ) is the interior of the thorax in mammals that is enclosed by the ribs . It is separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm . The main part of the wall (also the wall of the ribs ) forms the thorax and the fascia endothoracica lying on the inside .

The chest cavity is divided into the unpaired middle layer ( mediastinum ) and the paired pleural cavities. In the mediastinum most internal thoracic organs are: heart in the pericardium , thymus , large blood vessels (chest part of the aorta , vena cava , pulmonary trunk , azygos ), air and esophagus , various nerves ( phrenic nerve , the vagus nerve , recurrent laryngeal nerve , sympathetic trunk ) , Lymph nodes , ductus lymphaticus dexter and ductus thoracicus . Only the lungs grow laterally out of the mediastinum during embryonic development and fill the chest cavity with the exception of a small gap, the pleural cavity .


  • Wolfgang Dauber, Heinz Feneis: Feneis' picture lexicon of anatomy. 9th edition. Thieme, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-13-330109-8 .
  • Salomon, Geyer, Gille (ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. 2., ext. Edition. Enke, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8304-1075-1 .