What is the anatomy of the pleural space?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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The pleural space (cavity) in a healthy patient is a potential space sandwiched between the parietal and visceral pleurae. The parietal pleura completely lines the inner chest wall surface of the thoracic cavity, inclusive of the bilateral medial mediastinum, the subcostal left and right diaphragmatic leaflets, and the innermost muscle surface of the ribs and associated musculature. The visceral pleura tightly envelopes both lungs completely, folding into the interlobar fissures, meeting the parietal pleura at the hilar root of the lungs. The right and left pleural cavities are separated in healthy people by the anterior and posterior mediastinum.

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