Anatomical study of the diaphragm of the opossum (Didelphis albiventris)

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2002-06-01

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Blackwell Verlag Gmbh

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The anatomical characteristics of the South American opossum diaphragm were described. Five male and seven female adult opossums, weighing between 700 and 1110 g, were used. Animals were killed by ether inhalation saturation. The abdominal and thoracic walls were dissected and opened, the viscerae were removed and the diaphragm anatomy was described and photographed in situ . After diaphragm removal, some dimensional data were taken and tabled. Primary branches of the phrenic nerves were dissected under a surgical microscope. The secondary branches were studied and described by transillumination after clarification in acetic acid. The opossum diaphragm is domed and has a mean area of 54.33 +/- 3.8 cm(2) . Well-identified costal, sternal and lumbar parts form the peripheral muscular region. The central tendinous region presents with a V-like form. Three folioles comprise the phrenic centre and present different dimensions. The caudal vena cava passes through its foramen between the ventral and right dorsal folioles. Both right and left phrenic nerves present one ventral branch and one dorsolateral trunk in 50.0% and 66.67% of the cases, respectively.

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Anatomia Histologia Embryologia-Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series C. Berlin: Blackwell Verlag Gmbh, v. 31, n. 3, p. 132-138, 2002.

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