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What are the body cavities?
- Dorsal (Cranial and Vertebral)
- Ventral (Thoracic and Abdominopelvic)
Where is the thoracic cavity? What other cavities does it contain?
The thoracic cavity is itself located in the ventral cavity, in the area considered to be the chest. It is encircled by the ribs and its inferior and posterior borders are the diaphragm and vertebral columns respectively. It contains the pericardial and pleural cavities and the mediastinum as well as heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus and other structures.
Where is the pericardial cavity? What does it contain?
The pericardial cavity is itself located within the thoracic cavity, on the midline of the body, deep to the centre of the sternum. It contains the heart.
Where are the pleural cavities? What do they contain?
The pleural cavities themselves lie within the thoracic cavity, laterally posterior the pericardial cavity. They each contain one of the lungs.
Where is the mediastinum? What does it contain?
The mediastinum is located medially to the pleural cavities, stretching around the pericardial cavity at the ribs to the vertebral column at the rear and from the first rib down to the diaphragm. It contains the heart, esophagus, trachea, thymus as well as several large blood vessels and nerves.
Where is the abdominopelvic cavity? What other cavities does it contain?
The abdominopelvic cavity is itself located within the ventral cavity, inferior to the thoracic cavity in the area considered to be the belly and hips. Its superior and inferior borders are the diaphragm and groin respectively. It contains many organs including the stomach, liver, gall bladder, small intestine and colon, rectum, internal reproductive organs, kidneys, adrenal glands and more. It also contains blood vessels and nerves.
Where is the abdominal cavity? What does it contain?
The abdominal cavity itself lies within the abdominopelvic cavity, inferior to the thoracic cavity but superior to the pelvis. Its superior and inferior borders are respectively the diaphragm and an imaginary plane that runs roughly along the top of the pelvis.
It contains the stomach, liver, gall bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, ascending, transverse and descending colons and more.
Where is the pelvic cavity? What does it contain?
The pelvic cavity itself is located within the abdominopelvic cavity, inferior to the abdominal cavity and bordered on its posterior and lateral sides by the pelvis. It contains the bladder, rectum and internal reproductive organs.
What are the abdominopelvic regions? Where are they located?
They are a set of 9 anatomical regions within the abdominopelvic cavity, conceived on a frontal plane, allowing for easier location of organs and tissues. They are from top to bottom.
Left and Right hypochondriac, Epigastric, Left and Right Lumbar, Umbilical, Left and Right Inguinal and the Hypogastric (Pubic).
What are the abdominopelvic quadrants? Where are they located?
They are a set of quadrants similar to the 9 AP regions. They are used most commonly used to describe the position of pain.
The left and right, upper and lower quadrants.
What does the term viscera refer to?
The viscera refer to all organs located within the ventral cavity, colloquially thought of as "guts."
What are serous membranes?
Serous membranes are thin, double layered membranes secreting serous fluid. They surround several body cavities and provide protection as well as the ability for organs to change size and shape.
What are parietal layers?
Parietal layers are the layers of a serous membrane that lies on what can be thought of as the "outside" of that membrane, lining the wall of the cavity.
What are visceral layers?
Visceral layers are the layers of a serous membrane that lies on what can be thought of as the "inside" of that membrane, lining the organs within the cavity.
What is the serous fluid? What is its function?
Serous fluid is a fluid secreted by serous membranes and fills the space between and is contained by the parietal and visceral layers. Its allows the layers to slide over each other when an organ attached to the membrane changes size or shape, thus facilitating that change of size or shape.
What are the visceral and parietal pleura?
The visceral and parietal pleura are the visceral and parietal serous membranes that create the border for the pleura.
What is the visceral and parietal peritoneum?
The visceral and perital peritonoeum are the serous membranes that create a border roughly equivalent to the abdominal cavity.
Where is the retro-peritoneal space?
The retro-peritoneal space is an area located within the abdominal cavity but outside of the peritoneum. It located posterior to the intestines and contains the kidneys, adrenal gland, ureter and bladder.
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