This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Pericardium (serous, anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The serous pericardium of the heart is a sheet of mesothelial cells which lines, and so demarcates, the pericardial cavity. During development, where the layer has been invaginated by the heart, it comes to be divided into two:

  • parietal layer of serous pericardium
  • visceral layer of serous pericardium

It is important to emphasise that they are in continuity at the points at which great vessels traverse the pericardial cavity - the visceral pericardium envelopes the vessels - and only differ in the structures which they are superficial to. Both layers of mesothelial cells secrete the serous fluid which serves to lubricate the surface of the pericardial cavity.

The disappearance of the dorsal mesocardium during development leads to the formation of the oblique and transverse pericardial sinuses within the pericardial sac which separate the layers of serous pericardium.

There may be a small fold of serous pericardium joining the left pulmonary artery to the superior left pulmonary vein within the pericardial cavity. This is the fold of the left vena cava - it contains a fibrous remnant of the developmental left common cardinal vein.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.