Anatomy word of the month: hiatus

February 1, 2010 —

The Latin word for “an opening, a gaping mouth”.  The diaphragm, the muscular partition that divides the chest from the abdomen, has three openings.  The aorta, esophagus and inferior vena cava each pass through a hiatus in the diaphragm.  You likely have seen this word before when your favorite TV show took a break for the summer.  This opening or gap in the schedule is called “going on hiatus” until Fall.


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