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Anatomy for Dental Students$
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Martin E. Atkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234462

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199234462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2022

The surface anatomy of the thorax

The surface anatomy of the thorax

Chapter:
(p.65) 9 The surface anatomy of the thorax
Source:
Anatomy for Dental Students
Author(s):

Martin E. Atkinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199234462.003.0016

The thorax is the region of the body commonly known as the chest between the neck and the abdomen. The thoracic cavity is the hollow in the thorax that is occupied by the thoracic viscera, the heart and its associated vessels in the midline, and the lungs laterally. The thoracic viscera are enclosed by the bony and muscular thoracic cage. The bony components of the cage are the 12 thoracic vertebrae posteriorly, the 12 pairs of ribs and their anterior cartilaginous extensions, the costal cartilages that meet the sternum anteriorly. The intercostal muscles fill the intercostal spaces between the ribs and are involved in ventilation. Another muscle involved in ventilation is the diaphragm, a sheet of muscle that separates the thoracic from the abdominal cavity. If you are not familiar with the basic outline and arrangements of the circulatory and respiratory systems, refer back to Chapters 4 and 5 before reading this section. A good way to appreciate where these structures lie in relation to each other is to examine their surface anatomy, the position of internal organs related to features that can be observed or palpated (felt) on the surface of the body. Relating surface anatomy to deeper structures is a clinical skill essential not only to the study of the thorax, but also of structures in the head and neck important in dental practice. In the clinical examination of the living subject, the position of the internal thoracic organs is defined with reference to a set of vertical and horizontal lines running through the surface of bony landmarks. The significant vertical lines are shown in Figure 9.1 as the: 1. Mid-sternal line—in the median plane anteriorly; 2. Mid-clavicular line—through the midpoint of the clavicle; 3. Mid-axillary line—midway between the anterior and posterior axillary folds, formed from skin overlying muscles. If you raise your arm while looking into a mirror, the two folds are obvious; they can also be palpated very easily even with clothes on. 4. Median posterior line—in the median plane anteriorly. The horizontal position can be defined with reference to the ribs or, less easily, the vertebrae.

Keywords:   apex beat, costal margin, diaphragm, heart, lungs, pleurae, ribs, sternal angle

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