A transverse section of the thorax, showing the contents of the middle and the posterior mediastinum. The pleural and pericardial cavities are exaggerated since normally there is no space between parietal and visceral pleura and between pericardium and heart.
lamina visceralis pericardii serosi
Epicardium describes the outer layer of heart tissue (from Greek; epi- outer, cardium heart). When considered as a part of the pericardium, it is the inner layer, or visceral pericardium, continuous with the serous layer.
Its largest constituent is connective tissue and functions as a protective layer. The visceral pericardium apparently produces the pericardial fluid, which lubricates motion between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium.
During ventricular contraction, the wave of depolarization moves from endocardial to epicardial surface.
The surgical removing of the epicardium is referred to as epicardiectomy.
- Atlas image: ht_pericard2 at the University of Michigan Health System - "MRI of chest, lateral view"
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