pericardium: see heart.
The pericardium is a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.


There are two layers to the pericardial sac: the fibrous pericardium and the serous pericardium. The serous pericardium, in turn, is divided into two layers, the parietal pericardium, which is fused to and inseparable from the fibrous pericardium, and the visceral pericardium, which is part of the epicardium. The epicardium is the layer immediately outside of the heart muscle proper (the myocardium).

In between the parietal and visceral pericardial layers there is a potential space called the pericardial cavity. It is normally lubricated by a film of pericardial fluid. Too much fluid in the cavity (such as in a pericardial effusion) can result in pericardial tamponade, compression of the heart within the pericardial sac.


Religious Symbolism

The 10th century CE Islamic mystic Hallaj described God as He "who flows between the pericardium and the heart, just as the tears flow from the eyelids."

Additional images


  • Schimmel, Annemarie (1975). Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

External links

  • - "Mediastinum: Pericardium (pericardial sac)"
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