3.10. Revision Tips


Rib counting…
If you're struggling to remember the exact pleural reflections, etc, just remember that the parietal pleura extends anteriorly to rib 8. The rest of these reflections can then be logically worked out because they follow a pattern…

- Parietal pleura, starting at the front....ribs 8, 10, 12.
- Visceral pleura, starting at the front, is always two less....ribs 6, 8, 10.

Adherence of the pleural layers
The visceral pleural layer is essentially adhered to the surface of the lung. The parietal pleural layer is essentially adhered to the ribcage. Pleural fluid facilitates the force of surface tension. Knowing this makes understanding the pleural recesses much easier - the presence of space between the pleural layers provides the lungs with space to expand into during inspiration.

The phrenic rhyme
The phrenic nerve innervates the diaphragmatic and mediastinal pleura. The phrenic nerve has a root of C3, C4 and C5 so….“C3, 4, 5, keeps the diaphragm alive”.

Not that sensitive
The visceral pleura cannot detect pain or temperature – it only detects stretch! This is a common feature of many of the thoracic and abdominal organ linings.

Link back
The fact that the pleural cavity is completely sealed off is important for maintaining its subatmospheric pressure – and this is important for ventilating the lungs.