Thoracic plane (mnemonic)

Last revised by Dr Owen Kang on 26 Apr 2020

A handy mnemonic to remember the structures found at the level of the thoracic plane (also known as the plane of Ludwig) is:

  • CLAPTRAP
  • RAT PLANT

Mnemonic

CLAPTRAP
RAT PLANT
  • R: rib 2
  • A: aortic arch
  • T: tracheal bifurcation
  • P: pulmonary trunk
  • L: ligamentum arteriosum
  • A: azygos vein drains into SVC
  • N: nerves
    • loop of recurrent laryngeal nerve
    • parasympathetic: contributions to the cardiopulmonary plexuses
    • sympathetic: branches of the cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves
  • T: right-to-left movement of the thoracic duct

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