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Thorac Surg Clin. 2010 Nov;20(4):453-63. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2010.07.006.

Relevant surgical anatomy of the chest wall.

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Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham, B9 5SS, UK.


The chest wall, like other regional anatomy, is a remarkable fusion of form and function. Principal functions are the protection of internal viscera and an expandable cylinder facilitating variable gas flow into the lungs. Knowledge of the anatomy of the whole cylinder (ribs, sternum, vertebra, diaphragm, intercostal spaces, and extrathoracic muscles) is therefore not only important in the local environment of a specific chest wall resection but also in its relation to overall function. An understanding of chest wall kinematics might help define the loss of function after resection and the effects of various chest wall substitutes. Therefore, this article is not an exhaustive anatomic description but a focused summary and discussion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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