Where's Your Heart?

Positioned in the chest behind the breastbone, the heart resides right in front of the windpipe, esophagus, and aorta. This marvelous muscular pump for the circulatory system rests above the diaphragm (the muscle separating the chest and abdominal cavities).

The normal heart is about the size of a closed fist with average dimensions of about 5 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches and 10.5 ounces in weight. It is cone-shaped with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Only about two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the body. As a result of certain medical conditions, the heart can enlarge (cardiomegaly).

This has been reproduced in part from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Last Editorial Review: 10/24/2002

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