The thoracic cavity (or chest cavity) is the chamber of the human body that is protected by the thoracic wall (rib cage and associated skin, muscle, and fascia), limited by the costa and the diaphragm.
- Structures of the cardiovascular system, including the heart and great vessels, which include the thoracic aorta, the pulmonary artery and all its branches, the superior and inferior vena cava, the pulmonary veins, and the azygos vein
- structures of the respiratory system, including the Diaphragm, trachea, bronchi and lungs[
- structures of the digestive system, including the esophagus,
- endocrine glands, including the thymus gland,
- structures of the nervous system including the paired vagus nerves, and the paired sympathetic chains,
- lymphatics including the thoracic duct.
It contains three potential spaces lined with mesothelium: the paired pleural cavities and the pericardial cavity. The mediastinum comprises those organs which lie in the centre of the chest between the lungs.
This definition incorporates text from the wikipedia website - Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. (2004, July 22). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://www.wikipedia.org