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sternal line of pleural reflection


Definition: surface projection of the sharp line along which the costal part of the parietal pleura becomes continuous with the mediastinal part anteriorly; the right and left sternal lines of pleural reflection are parallel to the median plane, posterior to the sternum, at the level of costal cartilages 2–4; at the level of costal cartilage 4, the left line turns laterally to parallel the left margin of the sternum, creating a “notch” that is shallower than the cardiac notch of the left lung and an area where the pericardial sac contacts the anterior thoracic wall without intervening pleura sac, a finding significant for pericardiocentesis.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.