Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
In front, it is separated from the anterior wall of the thorax, in the greater part of its extent, by the lungs and pleuræ; but a small area, somewhat variable in size, and usually corresponding with the left half of the lower portion of the body of the sternum and the medial ends of the cartilages of the fourth and fifth ribs of the left side, comes into direct relationship with the chest wall. The lower extremity of the thymus, in the child, is in contact with the front of the upper part of the pericardium. Behind, it rests upon the bronchi, the esophagus, the descending thoracic aorta, and the posterior part of the mediastinal surface of each lung. Laterally, it is covered by the pleuræ, and is in relation with the mediastinal surfaces of the lungs; the phrenic nerve, with its accompanying vessels, descends between the pericardium and pleura on either side.
FIG. 489 Posterior wall of the pericardial sac, showing the lines of reflection of the serous pericardium on the great vessels. (See enlarged image)
Structure of the Pericardium.Although the pericardium is usually described as a single sac, an examination of its structure shows that it consists essentially of two sacs intimately connected with one another, but totally different in structure. The outer sac, known as the fibrous pericardium, consists of fibrous tissue. The inner sac, or serous pericardium, is a delicate membrane which lies within the fibrous sac and lines its walls; it is composed of a single layer of