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The chest, also known as the thorax, is the region of the body between the neck and the abdomen. It contains many vital organs, including the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels.

Anatomy of the Chest

  • The chest is a complex structure that includes bones, muscles, and other tissues. The main components of the chest include:
  • Thoracic vertebrae: These are the bones of the spine that run through the chest.
  • Ribs: There are 12 pairs of ribs that surround the chest, helping to protect the organs within.
  • Sternum: The sternum, or breastbone, is a flat bone located in the center of the chest.
  • Muscles: The chest contains several muscles, including the pectoralis major, which is the largest muscle in the chest.

Functions of the Chest

  • The chest plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including:
  • Breathing: The lungs, located within the chest, are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide during breathing.
  • Circulation: The heart, located within the chest, pumps blood throughout the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
  • Protection: The chest helps to protect the vital organs within from injury.
  • Movement: The muscles of the chest are involved in many movements, including breathing, coughing, and lifting.

Common Chest Problems

  • There are many conditions and diseases that can affect the chest, including:
  • Pneumonia: An infection of the lungs that can cause chest pain, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
  • Asthma: A chronic respiratory condition that can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
  • Heart disease: A range of conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, and heart failure.
  • Chest injuries: Trauma to the chest, such as a broken rib or punctured lung, can cause chest pain and difficulty breathing.

Also see

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