Pathology of the Pleura and Mediastinum

2018 Edition
| Editors: Timothy Craig Allen, Saul Suster

Pleura, Anatomy and Histology of

  • Christopher P. MarquezEmail author
  • Timothy Craig Allen
Reference work entry




The pleura is a continuous serous membrane that envelops each lung (visceral pleura) and lines the inner surface of both thoracic cavities (parietal pleura), creating a thin space with fluid, called the pleural cavity. The pleural cavities of the right and left lung are isolated from one another by the mediastinum. Regions of the parietal pleura can be described by the thoracic wall that they are associated with and firmly attached to. These include the cervical part, costal part, diaphragmatic part, and mediastinal part. The visceral pleura is firmly attached to lung surfaces including the opposing surfaces of the interlobar fissures, which divide each lung into lobes.

Blood Supply

The pleural membrane consists of a surface mesothelium that rests on a basement membrane and supported by connective tissue, through which blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves course. The bronchial circulation supplies blood to the visceral pleura, while the parietal...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Cagle, P. T., et al. (2004). Color atlas and text of pulmonary pathology (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  2. Churg, A., Cagle, P. T., & Roggli, V. L. (2006). AFIP atlas of tumor pathology series 4: Tumors of the serosal membranes (Vol. 3). Silver Spring: ARP Press.Google Scholar
  3. Drake, R. L., Vogl, W., & Mitchell, A. W. M. (2005). Gray’s anatomy for students (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  4. Moore, K. L., et al. (2004). The developing human: Clinically oriented embryology with student consult online access (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar
  5. Pernick, N. (2014). Pleura. Pathology outlines. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, The University of Mississippi Medical SchoolThe University of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA