The Thorax

The thorax is the area of the body situated between the neck and the abdomen. The thorax itself can be split up into various areas that contain important structures.

The thorax is bound by bony structures including the 12 pairs of ribs and thoracic vertebrae, whilst also being supported by many ligaments and muscles.

The muscles of the thorax are also important for the vital actions of breathing and muscles that attach to the thoracic wall may also contribute to the general movement of the trunk, upper limbs and the neck.

The thoracic cavity is home to many vital organs, notably the lungs/pleurae and the heart, but also includes the thymus gland and the breasts. As the heart is found here, the great vessels associated with it are also found – including the pulmonary arteries/veins, the superior vena cava and the aorta (as well as some of its proximal branches).

In this section, learn more about the areas of the thorax, bones of the thorax, muscles of the thorax, organs of the thorax and the vasculature of the thorax.

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Areas of the Thorax

  • The Superior Mediastinum
  • The Middle Mediastinum
  • +2 more

Bones of the Thorax

  • The Thoracic Spine
  • The Sternum
  • +1 more

Muscles of the Thorax

  • The Diaphragm
  • The Muscles of the Thoracic Cage

Organs of the Thorax

  • The Valves of the Heart
  • The Chambers of the Heart
  • +12 more

Vasculature of the Thorax

  • The Superior Vena Cava



Lumbricals (Hand)

by Oliver Jones

Arteries of the Abdomen

The Superior Mesenteric Artery

by Katherine Sanders and Natalia Munoz


Internal Oblique

by Aren Mnatzakanian