cardiac impression (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The cardiac impression is a recess formed on the anteroinferior mediastinal surfaces of both lung. It is produced in order to accommodate the space occupied by the heart. Hence, due to the heart projecting more to the left side of the sternum, the concavity is of greater depth on the left.

The boundaries of the cardiac impression are:

  • anteriorly:
    • on right: anterior border of lung
    • on left: cardiac notch
  • posteriorly:
    • on right: lung root and groove for inferior vena cava
    • on left: lung root and pulmonary ligament
  • superiorly:
    • right: groove for superior vena cava
    • left: arch of aorta
  • inferiorly: inferior border of lung