thoracic inlet (anatomy)
The thoracic inlet is the most superior aperture to the thorax and the boundary of the roof of the mediastinum. Also, it is termed the:
- superior thoracic aperture; another anatomical term
- thoracic outlet; clinical usage e.g. thoracic outlet syndrome. However, it is not the anatomical thoracic outlet - see submenu.
The thoracic inlet slopes obliquely anteriorly and inferiorly from the first vertebral body. Its anteroposterior diameter is 4.5-6cm. Its transverse diameter is 9-11cm.
The thoracic inlet can be described in terms of:
- its bony margins
- the relations of structures traversing the area
Last reviewed 01/2018