Mnemonic Monday: Structures of the Diaphragm

By Haley Masterson

Mnemonics are an important tool for approaching Gross Anatomy. Here’s one for the diaphragm that will help you not only in orienting yourself in the lab, but also in identifying cross-sectional levels on x-rays in the future.

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I 8 10 EGGs AAT 12

(I ate (8) ten eggs at twelve)

The diaphragm has 3 main hiatuses – the hiatus of the inferior vena cava (IVC), the esophageal hiatus, and the aortic hiatus. The IVC is the only structure that directly passes through the central tendon of the diaphragm muscle. The IVC traverses the diaphragm at the T8 level. One can remember this with the mnemonic “I 8 10 EGGs AAT 12“:

  • I 8 = IVC at T8
  • 10 EGGs = EsophaGus and vaGus at T10
  • AAT 12 = Aorta, Azygos, and Thoracic duct at T12.

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