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|Gray's||subject #117 404|
- For other types of diaphragm, see Diaphragm.
In the anatomy of mammals, the diaphragm is a shelf of muscle extending across the bottom of the ribcage. The diaphragm separates the thoracic cavity (with lung and heart) from the abdominal cavity (with digestive system and urogenital system). In its relaxed state, the diaphragm is shaped like a dome. It is controlled by the phrenic nerve.
In order to avoid confusion with other types of diaphragm, it is sometimes referred to as the thoracic diaphragm. Any reference to the diaphragm is understood to refer to this structure.
Function[edit | edit source]
It is crucial in respiration: in order to draw air into the lungs, the diaphragm contracts, thus enlarging the thoracic cavity and reducing intra-thoracic pressure (the external intercostals muscles also participate in this enlargement). When the diaphragm relaxes, air is exhaled by elastic recoil of the lung and the tissues lining the thoracic cavity in conjunction with the abdominal muscle which act as the antagonist pair to diaphragm's contraction Antagonist (muscle). The diaphragm is also found in other vertebrates such as reptiles.
It is responsible for all the breathing related to voice.
Pathology[edit | edit source]
A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm contracts periodically without voluntary control.
Diaphragmatic injuries result from either blunt or penetrating trauma.
Anatomy[edit | edit source]
The Diaphragm is a dome-shaped musculofibrous septum which separates the thoracic from the abdominal cavity, its convex upper surface forming the floor of the former, and its concave under surface the roof of the latter. Its peripheral part consists of muscular fibers which take origin from the circumference of the thoracic outlet and converge to be inserted into a central tendon.
The muscular fibers may be grouped according to their origins into three parts:
|sternal||two fleshy slips from the back of the xiphoid process.|
|costal||the inner surfaces of the cartilages and adjacent portions of the lower six ribs on either side, interdigitating with the Transversus abdominis.|
|lumbar||aponeurotic arches, named the lumbocostal arches, and from the lumbar vertebrae by two pillars or crura.|
Crura and central tendon[edit | edit source]
The central tendon of the diaphragm is a thin but strong aponeurosis situated near the center of the vault formed by the muscle, but somewhat closer to the front than to the back of the thorax, so that the posterior muscular fibers are the longer.
Openings in the Diaphragm[edit | edit source]
The diaphragm is pierced by a series of apertures to permit of the passage of structures between the thorax and abdomen. Three large openings—the aortic, the esophageal, and the vena cava—and a series of smaller ones are described.
|caval opening||T8||inferior vena cava, and some branches of the right phrenic nerve|
|esophageal hiatus||T10||esophagus, the vagus nerves, and some small esophageal arteries|
|aortic hiatus||T12||the aorta, the azygos vein, and the thoracic duct|
|two lesser aperture of right crus||greater and lesser right splanchnic nerves|
|three lesser aperture of left crus||greater and lesser left splanchnic nerves and the hemiazygos vein|
|behind the diaphragm, under the medial lumbocostal arches||gangliated trunks of the sympathetic|
|areolar tissue between the sternal and costal parts (see also foramina of Morgagni)||the superior epigastric branch of the internal mammary artery and some lymphatics from the abdominal wall and convex surface of the liver|
|areolar tissue between the fibers springing from the medial and lateral lumbocostal arches||This interval is less constant; when this interval exists, the upper and back part of the kidney is separated from the pleura by areolar tissue only.|
Variations[edit | edit source]
The sternal portion of the muscle is sometimes wanting and more rarely defects occur in the lateral part of the central tendon or adjoining muscle fibers.
Additional images[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant. Template:Torso general
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