Anatomy of the normal diaphragm

Thorac Surg Clin. 2011 May;21(2):273-9, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2011.01.001.


The thoracic diaphragm is a dome-shaped septum, composed of muscle surrounding a central tendon, which separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. The function of the diaphragm is to expand the chest cavity during inspiration and to promote occlusion of the gastroesophageal junction. This article provides an overview of the normal anatomy of the diaphragm.

MeSH terms

  • Diaphragm / anatomy & histology*
  • Diaphragm / blood supply
  • Diaphragm / embryology
  • Humans
  • Phrenic Nerve / anatomy & histology