All of the internal organs (viscera) are located within body cavities (Figure 1.5). The two major cavities are the dorsal cavity and the ventral cavity. The dorsal cavity is divided into the cranial cavity containing the brain and the spinal cavity containing the spinal cord.
The ventral cavity is divided into the thoracic cavity, superior to the diaphragm, and the abdominopelvic cavity, inferior to the diaphragm. The thoracic cavity is further divided into the pleural cavities, which contain the lungs, and the mediastinum. The mediastinum is a mass of tissue between the lungs containing many organs including the heart, thymus gland, trachea, esophagus, and many blood vessels. The abdominopelvic cavity consists of two parts, the pelvic cavity and the abdominal cavity. The plane of division between these two is imaginary.
Figure 1.4 Abdominal Divisions A: Left lower Right lower Left upper Right upper
B: Epigastric Hypogastric Left hypochondriac Left iliac Left lumbar Right hypochondriac Right iliac Right lumbar Umbilical
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.