Diaphragmatic apertures

Last revised by Dr Henry Smith on 13 Apr 2018

The diaphragmatic apertures are a series of apertures that permit the passage of structures between the thoracic and abdominal cavities. There are three main apertures:

The vertebral levels of these apertures can be remembered by this mnemonic or by the number of letters in the spelling of vena cava (8), esophagus (10) and aortic hiatus (12).

There are also several smaller lesser apertures.

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Cases and figures

  • Diaphragm (under-surface)
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