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In anatomy, the precordium (praecordium in British English) is the portion of the body over the heart and lower chest.[1]

A more anatomic definition of precordium, is that it is the area of the anterior chest wall over the heart. It is therefore usually on the left side, except in conditions like dextrocardia, where the individual's heart is on the right side. In such a case, the precordium is on the right side as well.

The precordium is naturally a cardiac area of dullness. During examination of the chest, the percussion note will therefore be dull. In fact, this area only gives a resonant percussion note in hyperinflation, emphysema or tension pneumothorax.

Precordial chest pain can be an indication of a variety of illnesses, including costochondritis and viral pericarditis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary's entry for Precordial. Cited 2 Dec 2009 (UTC)