Macroscopic anatomy of the heart

The heart is located in the mediastinum, the anatomical space that is between the two lungs. It is covered by the pericardium and has the form of an anterior-posterior flattened cone.

Presents base and apex:

  • Base : located at the top, back and right
  • Apex : located down, forward, left

Two faces

  • Face anterosuperior or sternocostal
  • Lower or diaphragmatic postero face

Two margins

  • the acute left
  • the obtuse right

The morphology of the heart varies in relation to the respiratory mechanics , since the diaphragm is raised and lowered rhythmically. The position of the heart is considered normal when the diaphragm is lowered, ie during exhalation.

We describe in more detail the anatomical parts listed so far:

Face anterosuperior or sternocostal

The anterosuperior or sternocostal face presents:

  1. Anterior interventricular groove -> on the surface, longitudinal
  2. Coronary (or atrioventricular) sulcus -> superficially separates atriums and ventricles, although partially covered by aorta and pulmonary trunk
  3. Vascular pedicle -> corresponds to the large vessels that can be observed on the upper portion of the heart, namely aorta, pulmonary trunk and pulmonary veins

Furthermore, it is not possible to observe the atria , due to the presence of auricles, portions of the atrium with a morphology similar to that of the auricle. The right auricle embraces the aorta while the left auricle embraces the pulmonary trunk.

Posteroinferior or diaphragmatic face

The posteroinferior face presents:

  1. coronary groove (or atrioventricular) -> exactly the same groove that runs through the anterosuperior face
  2. posterior interventricular groove (or longitudinal)

We must underline the fact that these furrows, present on both sides, host various vessels but also adipose tissue, which must not exceed to avoid the risk of vessel occlusion.

Base of the heart

The base of the heart corresponds to the upper poster wall (posterior high) of the atria.Presents the outlet of pulmonary veins and veins. Presented by:

  • Interatrial furrow (partially covered by right pulmonary veins)

To the right of the interatrial groove we find:

right-atrium (with mainly vertical development)

- free of the hollow veins on the axis

To the left of the interatrial groove we find:

left-atrium (more transversal development than the right atrium)

-tight of the left atrium (observable between the outlet of the 4 pulmonary veins)

Apex of the heart

It is located at the fifth intercostal space on the left, on the migraine (longitudinal segment that starts from the middle of the clavicle).

It is in direct relationship with the thorax, presents:

  • acute left margin formed by the right ventricle
  • dull right margin formed by the left ventricle

⇑ READ ALSO: Relations of the heart

⇓ ALSO READ: Structure of the heart