The heart (cor) is the main circulatory organ. It provides the whole body with nutrients and communicates all the vessels with each other.
The heart is located in the mediastinum, in the central part of the chest, where it tightly adheres to neighboring organs. In front, the heart borders on the sternum and cartilages of the fifth and sixthribs. Pleura layers adhere to the sides of the heart. Inferiorly, the heart adheres to the dome of the diaphragm.
The heart has the following surfaces:
The anterior surface is called the sternocostal (facies sternocostalis)
The inferior surface is called the diaphragmatic (facies diaphragmatica)
The lateral surface is called the pulmonary (facies pulmonalis)
The base of the heart (basis cordis)
The apex of the heart (apex cordis)
The heart has the following borders:
The superior one is a conditional line connecting the borders of the right and left third ribs.
The right border spreads from the right third costal cartilage inferiorly to the right fifth costal cartilage.
The left border goes from the superior edge of the thir ib to the apex of the heart.
The inferior border goes from the fifth right costal cartilage to the apex of the heart.
The apex of the heart (apex cordis) is located in the left fifth intercostal space, 1-1.5 cm interiorly to the medclavicular line.
The base of the heart (basis cordis) is located below the middle of the thoracic cage
The heart valves are projected onto the anterior thoracic wall along a conditional oblique line. This line goes from the left third costal cartilage to the right sixth costal cartilage.
Each valve has its own projection points on the anterior thoracic wall:
The mitral (bicuspid) valve is located at the level of the third left costal cartilage
The tricuspid valve is located at the level of insertion of the fourth right costal cartilage into the sternum
The aortic valve is located in the area of the third intercostal space at the left edge of the sternum.
The pulmonary valve is located at the level of insertion of the third left costal cartilage into the sternum
The boundaries of the heart may shift slightly. It depends on a person’s physique and the shape of the heart itself, as well as on age.
At the age of 14, the heart takes its final, “adult” position.
Surface projections of the heart
- Sternocostal surface
- facies sternocostalis
- Diaphragmatic surface
- facies diaphragmatica
- Pulmonary surface
- facies pulmonalis
- Base of the heart
- basis cordis
- Apex of the heart
- apex cordis