Inferior thoracic aperture
|Inferior thoracic aperture|
|The thorax from behind.|
|Latin||apertura thoracis inferior|
The inferior thoracic aperture is bounded by:
- the 12th thoracic vertebra,
- 11th and 12th pairs of ribs,
- costal cartilages of ribs 7 through 10,
- and the xiphisternal joint - (ie: the articulation between the xiphoid process and the inferior border of the sternal body).
Structures passing through the inferior thoracic aperture between the thorax and abdomen include the inferior vena cava and esophagus, both of which pass through the diaphragm, and the abdominal aorta and thoracic duct which pass posterior to the diaphragm through the aortic hiatus.