The base of tbe heart (basis cordis), directed upward, backward, and to the right, is separated from the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth thoracic vertebræ by the esophagus, aorta, and thoracic duct.
It is formed mainly by the left atrium, and, to a small extent, by the back part of the right atrium. Somewhat quadrilateral in form, it is in relation above with the bifurcation of the pulmonary artery, and is bounded below by the posterior part of the coronary sulcus, containing the coronary sinus. On the right it is limited by the sulcus terminalis of the right atrium, and on the left by the ligament of the left vena cava and the oblique vein of the left atrium. The four pulmonary veins, two on either side, open into the left atrium, while the superior vena cava opens into the upper, and the anterior vena cava into the lower, part of the right atrium.