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Chapter 2 - Study Section 3 - Body Cavities
Medical Terminology - The Language of Medicine
12
Nursing
01/13/2011

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Term
abdominal cavity
Definition
Space below the chest containing organs such as the liver, stomach, gallbladder, and intestines, also called the abdomen.
Term
cranial cavity
Definition
Space in the head containing the brain and surrounded by the skull. Cranial means pertaining to the skull.
Term
diaphragm
Definition
Muscle separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities. The diaphragm moves up and down and aids in breathing.
Term
dorsal (posterior)
Definition
Pertaining to the back.
Term
mediastinum
Definition
Centrally located space between the lungs.
Term
pelvic cavity
Definition
Space below the abdomen containing portions of the intestines, rectum, urinary bladder, and reproductive organs. Pelvic means pertaining to the pelvis, composed of the hip bones surrounding the pelvic cavity.
Term
peritoneum
Definition
Double-layered membrane surrounding the abdominal organs.
Term
pleura
Definition
Double-layered membrane surrounding each lung.
Term
pleural cavity
Definition
Space between the pleural membranes.
Term
spinal cavity
Definition
Space within the spinal column (backbones) and containing the spinal cord. Also called the spinal canal.
Term
thoracic cavity
Definition
Space in the chest containing the heart, lungs, bronchial tubes, trachea, esophagus, and other organs.
Term
ventral (anterior)
Definition
Pertaining to the front.