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Chapter 3 - Anatomy of the Cardiac Chambers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2024

Robert H. Anderson
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University
Andrew C. Cook
University College London
Diane E. Spicer
University of Florida
Anthony M. Hlavacek
Medical University of South Carolina
Carl L. Backer
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Justin T. Tretter
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
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Regardless of the surgical approach, once having entered the mediastinum, the surgeon will be confronted by the heart enclosed in its pericardial sac. In the strict anatomical sense, this sac has two layers, one fibrous and the other serous. From a practical point of view, the pericardium is essentially the tough fibrous layer, since the serous component forms the lining of the fibrous sac, and is reflected back onto the surface of the heart as the epicardium. It is the fibrous sac, therefore, which encloses the mass of the heart. By virtue of its own attachments to the diaphragm, it helps support the heart within the mediastinum. Free-standing around the atrial chambers and the ventricles, the sac becomes adherent to the adventitial coverings of the great arteries and veins at their entrances to and exits from it, these attachments closing the pericardial cavity.1

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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