When the human embryo is 1.5 mm. long the rudimentary heart may be seen as an aggregation of mesoblastic cells in the caudal portion of its upper pole. The paired pericardial cavities arise concurrently at the same site (Fig. 1). The development of the coelomic channels, first on a level with the cardiac rudiment and later in the intestinal region, separates the heart and intestines from the lateral body walls. The coelomic cavity unites cranially with the paired pericardial spaces. Behind and in front the heart and intestines are attached to the body walls by structures called mesenteries. The ventral “mesocardium” soon disappears completely while part of the dorsal persists. Where the ventral mesocardium regresses the paired pericardial spaces coalesce to form a nonpaired cavity. By regression of the corresponding intestinal structures the initially separate body cavities unite into a common chamber, the pericardiopleuroperitoneal cavity, which now is paired only in certain sections above the stalk of the yolk sac and in the pelvic region. Of the ventral mesentery only a part persists and helps to form the definitive mediastinum.


Diastolic Filling Constrictive Pericarditis Venous Stasis Circulatory Disturbance Pericardial Cavity 
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