Infobox Anatomy
Latin =
GraySubject = 137
GrayPage = 524

Caption = Posterior wall of the pericardial sac, showing the lines of reflection of the serous pericardium on the great vessels.

Caption2 = A transverse section of the thorax, showing the contents of the middle and the posterior mediastinum. The pleural and pericardial cavities are exaggerated since normally there is no space between parietal and visceral pleura and between pericardium and heart Paricardium is also known as cariac epidemis.
Precursor =
System =
Artery = pericardiacophrenic artery
Vein =
Nerve =
Lymph =
MeshName = Pericardium
MeshNumber = A07.541.795
DorlandsPre =
DorlandsSuf =
The pericardium is a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.


There are two layers to the pericardial sac: the fibrous pericardium and the serous pericardium. The serous pericardium, in turn, is divided into two layers, the "parietal pericardium", which is fused to and inseparable from the fibrous pericardium, and the "visceral pericardium", which is part of the epicardium. The epicardium is the layer immediately outside of the heart muscle proper (the myocardium).

In between the parietal and visceral pericardial layers there is a potential space called the pericardial cavity. It is normally lubricated by a film of pericardial fluid. Too much fluid in the cavity (such as in a pericardial effusion) can result in pericardial tamponade, compression of the heart within the pericardial sac.


* Pericarditis resulting in pericardial friction rub
* Pericardial effusion which may lead to cardiac tamponade.

Religious Symbolism

The 10th century CE Islamic mystic Hallaj described God as He "who flows between the pericardium and the heart, just as the tears flow from the eyelids." ["Mystical Dimensions of Islam" (1975), Schimmel, Annemarie, University of North Carolina Press, pg. 71]



*cite book
title=Mystical Dimensions of Islam
publisher=University of North Carolina Press
location=Chapel Hill

External links

* - "Mediastinum: Pericardium (pericardial sac)"
* (NormanAnatomyFig|heartpericardium)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pericardium — Per i*car di*um, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? about or near the heart; ? about + ? heart.] (Anat.) The double baglike fold of serous membrane which incloses the heart. [1913 Webster] Note: The inner layer is closely adherent to the outer surface of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pericardĭum — (griech.), Herzbeutel, s. Herz, S. 244 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pericardium — vgl. Perikard …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • pericardium — 1570s, Latinized form of Gk. perikardion membrane around the heart (Galen), from peri (prep.) around, about (see PERI (Cf. peri )) + kardia heart (see HEART (Cf. heart)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pericardium — ► NOUN (pl. pericardia) Anatomy ▪ the membrane enclosing the heart. DERIVATIVES pericardial adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from Greek peri around + kardia heart …   English terms dictionary

  • pericardium — [per΄ə kär′dē əm] n. pl. pericardia [per΄i kär′dēə] [ModL < Gr perikardion, neut. of perikardios, around the heart < peri , around + kardia,HEART] in vertebrates, the thin, closed, membranous sac surrounding the heart and the roots of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Pericardium — The conical sac of fibrous tissue that surrounds the heart and the roots of the great blood vessels. The pericardium’s outer coat (the parietal pericardium) is tough and thickened, loosely cloaks the heart, and is attached to the central part of… …   Medical dictionary

  • Pericardium — Der Herzbeutel oder das Perikard (lat. Pericardium) ist ein bindegewebiger Sack, der das Herz umgibt und dem Herzen durch eine schmale Gleitschicht freie Bewegungsmöglichkeit gibt. Er enthält als Gleitmittel eine geringe Menge (beim Menschen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pericardium — Blood sinus surrounding heart and communicating with it by pair of ostia in each somite except terminal one, may run entire length of trunk above gut [Moore and McCormick, 1969]. Blood sinus surrounding heart and communicating with it by paired… …   Crustacea glossary

  • pericardium — n. the membrane surrounding the heart, consisting of two portions. The outer fibrous pericardium completely encloses the heart and is attached to the large blood vessels emerging from the heart. The internal serous pericardium is a closed sac of… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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