Body cavities • Figure 1.7
The properties of each cavity are summarized in the table.
■ Cranial
, , . J
cavity
Vertebral
canal
Thoracic
cavity
Diaphragm
Abdominopelvic
cavity:
- Abdominal
cavity
Pelvic
cavity
Two views of
the
major
body cavities
Right pleural cavity
Parietal pleura
Visceral pleura
Diaphragm
/
I]
1
^
\
IV
V
i
^
________
:i/
CAVITY
COMMENTS
Cranial
cavity
Formed by cranial bones and
contains brain.
Vertebral canal
Formed by vertebral column and
contains spinal cord and the
Thoracic cavity
Chest cavity; contains pleural and
pericardial cavities and
mediastinum.
Pleural cavity
Each surrounds a lung; the serous
membrane of each pleural cavity is
the pleura.
Pericardial cavity
Surrounds the heart; the serous
membrane of the pericaridial cavity
is the pericardium.
M ediastinum
Central portion of the thoracic cavity
between the lungs; extends from
sternum to vertebral column and from
neck to diaphragm; contains heart,
thymus, esophagus, trachea, and
several large blood vessels.
Abdominopelvic
cavity
Subdivided into abdominal and pelvic
cavities.
Abdom inal cavity
Contains stomach, spleen, liver,
gallbladder, small intestine, and most
of large intestine; the serous
membrane of the abdominal cavity is
the peritoneum.
Pelvic cavity
Contains urinary bladder, portions of
large intestine, and internal organs
of reproduction.
Mediastinum
Pericardial cavity
Parietal pericardium
Visceral pericardium
Left pleural cavity
Anterior view
The cranial cavity contains the brain, and the vertebral
cavity contains the spinal cord. The thoracic cavity is di-
vided into two pleural cavities (left and right), containing
the lungs, one pericardial cavity surrounding the heart,
and the mediastinum, containing the heart, esophagus,
trachea, and several large blood vessels. The diaphragm,
a muscle that powers breathing, separates the thoracic
cavity from the abdominopelvic cavity. The abdomino-
pelvic cavity is further divided into the abdominal cav-
ity and the pelvic cavity. The contents of the thoracic
and abdominopelvic cavities are
called
visce ra
. The viscera of the
thoracic and abdominopelvic cav-
ities are covered by a thin, slip-
pery double-layered
membrane
called a
serous
m em b ran e
. The
serous membrane
covering the lungs is called the
p le u ra
, the membrane
covering the heart is called the
p e ric a rd iu m
, and the
membrane covering the abdominopelvic cavity is called
the
p e rito n e u m
.
viscera
(VIS-e-ra)
The organs inside the
thoracic and abdomi-
nopelvic cavities.
Anatomical Road Maps Guide Navigation Through the Body
13
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