Anatomy 101: The Heart in the Chest

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5 Questions

Where is the mediastinum located?

In the central part of the thorax

What divides the superior and inferior mediastinum?

A plane between the angle of the sternum and the bottom of the T4 vertebrae

Which arteries are located in the superior mediastinum?

Arch of the aorta, brachiocephalic artery, left common carotid artery, left subclavian artery

Which part of the mediastinum is anterior to the heart?

Anterior mediastinum

What structures bound the mediastinum?

Pleural membranes of the lungs, diaphragm, thoracic inlet

Study Notes

Mediastinum Location and Divisions

  • The mediastinum is located in the thoracic cavity, between the two pleural sacs that surround the lungs.

Divisions of the Mediastinum

  • The superior and inferior mediastinum are divided by an imaginary line that intersects the fourth thoracic vertebra (T4).

Arteries in the Superior Mediastinum

  • The superior mediastinum contains the brachiocephalic arteries, which are branches of the arch of the aorta.

Anterior Mediastinum

  • The anterior mediastinum, also known as the anterior middiastinum, is the part of the mediastinum that lies anterior to the heart.

Mediastinum Boundaries

  • The mediastinum is bounded by the sternum anteriorly, the vertebral column posteriorly, and the mediastinal pleura laterally.

Explore the basic anatomy of the heart and its position in the chest. Learn about the mediastinum and its role in housing the heart. Join Connor in this mini-series to simplify the complex anatomy of the heart.

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