pericardial anatomy

Last reviewed 01/2018

The pericardial layers envelope the entire surface of the heart and the roots of the great vessels. It lies in the middle mediastinum deep and predominantly to the left of the sternum. There are two distinct layers to the pericardium that enclose the pericardial cavity:

  • fibrous pericardium; superficial
  • serous pericardium; deep

Within the pericardial cavity formed by the layers of the serous pericardium, there are two sinuses formed by the reflection of the pericardium:

  • transverse sinus
  • oblique sinus