(also xiphoid cartilage)
The cartilaginous section at the lower end of the sternum, which is not attached to any ribs and gradually ossifies during adult life.
- This involves a 4 to 5 centimeter midline incision extending over the xiphoid process, starting from a point inferior to the level of the nipples.
- The linea alba makes its first appearance and replaces the xiphoid process (previous section) as the anterior midline structure.
- In inflammation limited to the duodenal bulb, this point is at the midline or just to the right of the midline (assuming normal anatomy), about halfway between the umbilicus and the xiphoid process.
Mid 18th century (as xiphoid cartilage): xiphoid from Greek xiphoeidēs, from xiphos 'sword'.
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