The Thoracic Cavity

Divided into three major divisions:

A. The right pleural cavity

B.The mediastinum

C. The left pleural cavity



The pleura and pleural cavities

This is a thin membrane that lines the lungs and the chest wall. It consists of two layers:

  • Parietal pleura: Lines thoracic cage, mediastinum and superior surface of the thoracic diaphragm.
    Also projects above the 1 st rib and the clavicle into the neck.

  • Visceral pleura : Lines the lungs

Parts of parietal pleura

Named according to the structures they cover:

  1. Costal pleura:
  2. The mediastinal pleura
  3. The diaphragmatic pleura:
  4. The pleural cupola: or cervical pleura.

Lines of pleural reflection


  • The sternal pleural reflection
  • The costal pleural reflection:
  • Vertebral pleural reflection:
  • Mediastinodiaphragmatic pleural reflection

Home | Project Anatomy | Gross Anatomy | Topic Index | Chapter 28

Chapter 28: The Chest Wall and Pleura