Chest | Definition, Synonyms, Functions & Anatomy


Chest is the part of our body. In Latin, it is known as thorax. The chest of humans includes the thoracic cavity and the thoracic wall. It comprises many organs, muscles, and a variety of inner structures. Many of the diseases can affect the thorax in which the most common is chest pain.


The chest is the part of the body between the neck and the abdomen (belly). In Urdu, we call it سینہ.


  • Bosom
  • Thorax
  • Pectorals
  • Bust
  • Ribcage
  • Breastplate


This word originates comes from the Greek θώραξ thorax breastplate, corslet via Latin thorax.


The chest protects the organs like the liver, lungs, and heart and provides a flexible skeletal framework to steady the actions of the shoulder and arm. Also, it promotes respiratory movement and filtering blood. It holds many important structures for the body like digestion, blood circulation, and digestion.

Structure & Anatomy of Chest


In the human body, there are 26 chest bones but some persons have an inborn condition where they have an additional rib called a cervical rib. 26 bones in the chest include:

  • 24 Ribs
  • 1 Hyoid bone
  • 1 Sternum

Thoracic Cavity:

This cavity is the 2nd largest hollow space separated from the abdominal cavity. It has organs, nerves, and many other structures of the body. This cavity is considered the home of organs and tissues in the thorax. It plays an essential role in our body system including:

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Nervous system
  • Respiratory system
  • Immune system
  • Digestive system


The three main parts of this chest cavity are:

  • Right pleural cavity
  • Left pleural cavity
  • Mediastinum


This thorax cavity has five organs which are:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Esophagus
  • Thymus
  • Trachea

Thoracic Wall:

This chest wall assists in movement and respiration. Also, it keeps the thoracic cavity secure. This chest wall is formed by the cartilage, 12 pairs of ribs, breastbone or sternum, 5 muscles, and 12 thoracic vertebrae. Further, it is divided into two walls which are:

  • Posterior thoracic wall
  • Anterior thoracic wall

Posterior thoracic wall:

It is formed by the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. Every rib attaches to two vertebral bodies and curves inferiorly and posteriorly. The true ribs move forward with the breastbone and false ribs have cartilaginous extensions to describe the sternum while the balanced ribs do not articulate with the sternum.

Anterior thoracic wall:

This wall is formed by the breast tissue that is comprised of fat, mammary glands, nipples, fibrous tissue, and areolar complex.


This chest wall has 5 muscles from deep to superficial. They assist in respiration by increasing and constricting the thoracic cavity. Also, they help in the motion of the pelvis and spine. These muscles are:

  • Transversus thoracis muscle
  • Subcostalis muscle
  • Innermost intercostals muscle
  • Internal intercostals muscle
  • External intercostals muscle

Chest Pain

It is a pain that can occur anywhere between the neck and the upper abdomens.  The most general reason for pain is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). It may cause due to:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Ulcers
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Gallstones
  • Gastritis
  • Esophagitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma

Chest Cancer

It is also known as thoracic cancer. This occurs when the development of the cells in the breast goes out of control. It affects women immensely as compared to men as 99% of this cancer occurs in women and only 0.5 to 1% of breast cancer occurs in men.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Chest pain
  • Cough that brings up blood
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Unusual lumps of tissue
  • Weight loss

Chest Disorders

  • Asthma
  • Pleurisy
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory syndrome
  • Tuberculosis
  • Influenza
  • Pericarditis


  • Ali crossed his arm over his chest.
  • Saba feels pain in her chest.
  • Ahmad has a broad chest.
  • The thief was shot in his chest.
  • Hamza has a hairy chest.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Mention the name of the parts of the  thorax.

  • Pectoralis Major
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Subclavius

Which of the organs is behind the thorax?

The heart is an organ that is behind the thorax.

Name of the important bone in the thorax?

The sternum is the essential bone of the thorax.

Mention the name of the organ in the middle of the thorax.

The mediastinum is the central organ of the thorax.

Which of the organs is in the breasts?

The thymus is the organ in the breasts.

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