Anatomy of the Thorax

  • Course Information
  • Thoracic Wall
    • Thoracic Vertebral Column
      30 min
  • Neurovasculature
  • The Heart
    • Valves
      30 min
  • Lungs, Trachea, Bronchi and Esophagus
  • Mediastinum

Anatomy of the Thorax


Debrecen University Study Guide

Please keep in mind that we are not affiliated, associated, authorized, approved, endorsed by or in any way officially connected to Debrecen University.

How to study?

During the semester

We highly recommend studying the lessons by the order they are taught in your class (or bulletin) or follow the presented default order on the sidebar.

Towards your exam(s)

Once you’ve covered the material at least once, you should start preparing for your exam according to the recommendations written below and make sure you know what’s covered in each topic and how to present it.

If you haven’t covered the material yet and you are studying for the exam, we highly recommend starting by following the default order on the sidebar, finishing it, and only then going through the topic list; although covering the material by topic-by-topic may seem like the way to go, it will just confuse you in the long-run.


The following is based on the official bulletin of the university according to the publication of September 2019.

These lists are only recommendations given by the department — thus, it doesn’t guarantee that all of them (if any) will be taught in that specific order.
Always ask your teachers and professors regarding the order and prepare accordingly, since they are the only ones who can tell you exactly what will be taught and when.

Week 5

Surface projections of the Heart, Lungs, Trachea, Esophagus, Thymus

Week 6

  1. The thoracic wall, layers, and fasciae of the thoracic wall
  2. The topography of the intercostal spaces
  3. Lymphatic drainage of the breast
  4. Neurovasculature of the thoracic wall
  5. Bones and joints- RibsSternum, and the Vertebral column
  6. Mediastinum and its divisions – Superior, Anterior, Posterior
  7. Introduction of the heart
  8. Surface Projections, Relative Dullness, and Chest radiography
  9. Layers of the heart
  10. Fibrous skeleton of the heart
  11. Chambers of the heart
  12. Valves
  13. The conducting system
  14. Innervation and lymphatic of the heart

Week 7

  1. Pericardium and its sinuses.
  2. The blood supply of the heart
  3. The structures of the right atrium and the right atrioventricular orifice.
  4. The structures of the right ventricle.
  5. The pleura and its recesses.
  6. The Lungs
  7. Structures of the posterior mediastinum


The exam is an oral exam during which you will pick a combination of topics from each block (head and neck, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis and perineum), and present it to the examiner.

The topics are divided according to the following scheme:

  • Regional anatomy: For these topics, you are required to describe AND identify the borders, layers, and structures for the respective region
  • Theoretical questions: These topics refer to materials which are difficult/impossible to show on gross anatomy specimens, e.g. autonomic innervation, lymphatic drainage, surface projections, or radiographic anatomy
  • Viscera: For these topics, you will have to describe AND demonstrate the anatomy of internal organs
  • Blood vessels, nerves, bones or muscles: For these topics, you will have to describe AND demonstrate the structures included in the topic

You will have a few minutes (or more, depending on the number of students) to prepare a short presentation.


Our lessons are written in the same way as you would present a subject during an oral or essay type of exam:

  1. Definition (“what?” — the subject/structure/organ/function you are being asked on)
  2. Description (“how?” — a short explanation describing the functions and main features)
  3. Specific features, if applicable:
    1. Parts/divisions
    2. Borders
    3. Contents
    4. Syntopy
    5. Clinical correlations

In an oral exam, during your presentation, mention the main points without going in-depth, to leave a place for questions.

Tips for an oral exam

Your examiner may ask you questions to which you already have prepared an answer. Take your time and don’t ping off an answer straight away. Prepare a complete sentence in your head, and then give your answer.

If you are not sure about your answer, it’s better to try (as long as you’re not completely wrong) than say “I don’t know”. Give an explanation to your reasoning; in many cases, the examiner will at least partially accept it.


Classification # Topic title Lesson
Regional anatomy 1 Borders and structures of the intercostal spaces Muscles of the thoracic wall, Neurovasculature (of the thoracic wall)
2 Parts of the mediastinum. Borders and structures of the superior mediastinum Mediastinum — Introduction, Superior Mediastinum
3 Parts of the mediastinum. Borders and structures of the posterior mediastinum Mediastinum — IntroductionPosterior Mediastinum
4 Borders of the thoracic cavity. Layers of the thoracic wall Thoracic wall — Introduction, Thoracic Fasciae and Layers
5 Topography and relationships of the thoracic part of the trachea and esophagus Trachea and Bronchi, Esophagus
Theoretical questions 6 Breast Breasts 
7 Identification of the major structures on plain chest radiograph Surface Projections, Relative Dullness, and Chest Radiography
8 Innervation of the thoracic wall and the thoracic organs Innervation — Introduction, Innervation — Continued
9 Lymphatic drainage of the lungs and pleura Lungs
10 Movements of the thoracic wall Ribs
11 Radiographic anatomy of the thoracic wall and mediastinum Thoracic wall — Introduction, Mediastinum — Introduction
12 Surface projections of the aorta and the great thoracic veins Great Vessels
13 Surface projections of the heart. Borders of the cardiac dullness. Auscultation points of the valves of the heart Surface Projections, Relative Dullness, and Chest Radiography
14 Surface projections of the pleura and the lungs Pleura
Viscera 15 Blood supply of the thoracic organs and the wall of the thorax Blood Supply of the Heart, Lungs, Neurovasculature (of the thoracic wall)
16 Joints of the thorax. Muscles of the thorax Vertebral Column, Ribs, Sternum,  Muscles of the Thoracic Wall
17 Parts of the pulmonary circulation Lungs
18 Thoracic parts of the systemic circulation. Parts of the aorta Great Vessels
19 Vasculature of the heart. Vessels entering and exiting the heart Blood Supply of the Heart, Venous Drainage of the Heart, Great Vessels
Neurovasculature, bones, and muscles 20 Arterial orifices of the heart. Parts and functions of the semilunar valves Valves
21 Demonstration of the visible developmental remnants of the fetal circulation in the thorax Great Vessels
22 Parts, blood supply and innervation of the lungs Lungs
23 Parts, innervation and blood supply of the pleura and pericardium Pleura, Layers (of the heart)
24 Structures of the hilum of the lungs. Impressions on the mediastinal surfaces of the lungs Lungs
25 Structures of the right and left atrium Chambers
26 Structures of the right and left ventricles Chambers
27 Surfaces and parts of the heart. Aorta and the great thoracic veins Heart — Introduction, Layers, Great Vessels, Azygous and Hemi-Azygous System
28 Venous orifices of the heart. Parts and functions of the cuspidal valves Valves


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