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Pericardial Anatomy
Suhny Abbara, MD, FACR, FSCCT
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TERMINOLOGY

  • Synonyms

    • Parietal pericardium = fibrous pericardium (plus its inner layer, the serous pericardium) = often simply referred to as pericardium
    • Visceral pericardium = serous pericardium = epicardium
  • Definitions

    • Pericardium: Double-layered sac of serous and fibrous membranes connected to mediastinum, sternum, and diaphragm (outer layer), which envelops cardiac surfaces and proximal great vessels and venae cavae (inner layers)
    • Sac contains small physiologic amount of fluid (15-50 mL) that enables nearly friction-free motion of heart within mediastinum
    • Outer layer composed of fibrous pericardium and parietal portion of serous pericardium
      • Resulting layer up to 2 mm thick; often simply referred to as pericardium
      • Opposing visceral serous pericardium that covers heart; often referred to as epicardium
    • Serous layer of pericardium formed by single layer of mesothelial cells

IMAGING ANATOMY

  • Overview

    GROSS ANATOMY

    • Fibrous Pericardium

      • Serous Pericardium

        • Pericardial Attachments

          • Pericardial Sinuses

            • Pericardiophrenic Bundle

              ANATOMY IMAGING ISSUES

              • Imaging Recommendations

                • Imaging Pitfalls

                  Related Anatomy
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                  References
                  Tables

                  Tables

                  TERMINOLOGY

                  • Synonyms

                    • Parietal pericardium = fibrous pericardium (plus its inner layer, the serous pericardium) = often simply referred to as pericardium
                    • Visceral pericardium = serous pericardium = epicardium
                  • Definitions

                    • Pericardium: Double-layered sac of serous and fibrous membranes connected to mediastinum, sternum, and diaphragm (outer layer), which envelops cardiac surfaces and proximal great vessels and venae cavae (inner layers)
                    • Sac contains small physiologic amount of fluid (15-50 mL) that enables nearly friction-free motion of heart within mediastinum
                    • Outer layer composed of fibrous pericardium and parietal portion of serous pericardium
                      • Resulting layer up to 2 mm thick; often simply referred to as pericardium
                      • Opposing visceral serous pericardium that covers heart; often referred to as epicardium
                    • Serous layer of pericardium formed by single layer of mesothelial cells

                  IMAGING ANATOMY

                  • Overview

                    GROSS ANATOMY

                    • Fibrous Pericardium

                      • Serous Pericardium

                        • Pericardial Attachments

                          • Pericardial Sinuses

                            • Pericardiophrenic Bundle

                              ANATOMY IMAGING ISSUES

                              • Imaging Recommendations

                                • Imaging Pitfalls