Skip to Content

pericardium

Pronunciation: per'i-kar'de-um, -a

Definition: The fibroserous membrane, consisting of mesothelium and submesothelial connective tissue, covering the heart and beginning of the great vessels. It is a closed sac having two layers: the visceral layer (epicardium), immediately surrounding and applied to all the heart's surfaces, and the outer parietal layer, forming the sac, composed of strong fibrous tissue (fibrous pericardium [TA]) lined with a serous membrane (serous pericardium [TA]). The phrenic nerves pass to the diaphragm through the anterior pericardium and divide the pericardium into antephrenic and retrophrenic portions; the pulmonary hilum divides both of these portions into suprahilar, hilar, and infrahilar portions.

Synonym(s): capsula cordis, heart sac, membrana cordis, theca cordis

[L. fr. G. pericardion, the membrane around the heart]

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide