Second largest hollow space of the body, enclosed by the ribs, vertebral column, and breastbone and separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm. It contains the lungs and bronchi, part of the esophagus and trachea, and the heart and major blood vessels. A membrane called the pleura lines the cavity (parietal pleura) and continues over the lung (visceral pleura) and the rest of the cavity's contents, defining a space called the mediastinum. Disorders include blood (hemothorax) or air (pneumothorax, which can lead to atelectasis) in the pleural cavity and inflammation of the pleura (pleurisy).
Learn more about thoracic cavity with a free trial on Britannica.com.
It contains three potential spaces lined with mesothelium: the paired pleural cavities and the pericardial cavity. The mediastinum comprises those organs which lie in the centre of the chest between the lungs.
US Patent Issued to Spiration on Sept. 21 for "Automated Provision of Information Related to Air Evacuation from a Chest Cavity" (Washington Inventor)
Sep 22, 2010; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 28 -- United States Patent no. 7,798,974, issued on Sept. 21, was assigned to Spiration Inc. (Redmond,...
Sportsactive: THE ROUTINE - At 160 metres, the pressure shrinks my chest cavity by seven inches Tanya Streeter, record-breaking freediver
Sep 29, 2002; Tanya Streeter, 29, was born and raised in the Cayman Islands, but educated in Sussex. A former county lacrosse player, she...