3.3. Subdividing the Pleural Reflections

Parietal Pleural Reflections

The parietal pleural layer can be subdivided not only by its reflections to various ribs, as mentioned previously, but also by their associated structures in the thorax. These subdivisions are given below in bullet point form and can be seen in the diagram too. Note that the visceral pleura is NOT subdivided into these regions - this only applies to the parietal pleura.

• Cervical pleura – extends into the neck above the first rib.
• Costal pleura – the bulk of the parietal pleura that lines the ribs.
• Diaphragmatic pleura – lines the diaphragm at the inferior aspect of the thoracic cavity.
• Mediastinal pleura – lines the medial aspect of the lung.

Additional Notes

The parietal pleural layer (orange) becomes continuous with the visceral pleural layer (purple) at the root of the lung, specifically at the mediastinal pleura. This is shown by the red asterisks * in the diagram.

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