Structure and Physiology

The chest forms the bony case that houses and protects the lungs, the heart, and the esophagus as it passes into the stomach. The chest skeleton consists of 12 thoracic vertebrae, 12 pairs of ribs, the clavicle, and the sternum. The bony structure is illustrated in Figure 13-1.

Suprasternal notch

Clavicle

Suprasternal notch

Clavicle

Xiphoid process

Scapula

Manubrium

Sternomanubrial angle Sternum Costal cartilages Ribs

Xiphoid process

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