The thoracic cavity is also referred to as the chest cavity. It is the second largest cavity in the human body. The cavity is enclosed by the vertebral column, ribs and breastbone. It is the chamber of the human body that is protected by the thoracic wall. The thoracic cavity is widely used in the medical field. Some of the body's most important organs are found in the cavity. There are many nerves that are found in it as well. The thoracic cavity is often referred to as the "vault" of the most vital organs of the body.
Some vital organs found in the thoracic cavity are the cardiovascular system and tendons. Damage to the spine, neck or back could cause injury to the cavity. There are a several structures found in the thoracic cavity. Among the most vital parts in the cavity are the heart, lungs and major vessels. The cage to these vital organs plays a huge role in keeping them protected and safe.
Other structures found in the cavity are the lungs, trachea and esophagus, all of which are important organs to the human body. Important parts of the endocrine system are located in the thoracic cavity such as the thymus and thyroid.
The chest cavity is filled with a serous membrane; it is called this because it exudes a thin serum. Part of the area is called parietal pleura. The membrane lines the lung, where it is called the visceral pleura. It then extends over the esophagus, heart, and the great vessels.
The thoracic cavity grows as a person does. It leaves space between the organs which make it easy for surgery when necessary. There are three spaces in the thoracic cavity which are filled with are lined with mesothelium. These cavities include the pleural cavities, pericardial and the mediastinum.