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Thoracic Wall: Blood Supply – Thorax Muscles and Thoracic Wall

by Craig Canby, PhD
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    00:00 Arterial supply to the thoracic wall is covered in another lecture in greater detail. That lecture is on the thoracic vasculature. But, most of the arterial supply to our thoracic wall is going to be sourced from intercostal vessels that run within the intercostal spaces.

    00:24 And so, you can see many examples of these intercostal arteries traveling within the intercostal spaces. We have a posterior set of intercostal vessels, many of those coming off the aorta directly, as we see here. We also have anterior intercostal vessels, with many of those being sourced from the internal thoracic artery that we see here along the sternum. This is the right internal thoracic. We also have the left internal thoracic just along the left margin of the sternum. The anterior intercostal vessels do anastomose with the posterior and clinical relevance of your internal thoracic, usually it’s the left one that’s used, is you can ligate or cauterize all the anterior intercostal vessels coming off your left internal thoracic, mobilize that vessel and you can utilize the internal thoracic for coronary bypass procedures.

    01:32 Let’s take a look at the additional arterial supply to the thoracic wall. There are three arteries to highlight. One is the thoracoacromial artery. The second is the lateral thoracic artery. And then the third one is the subcostal artery. The thoracoacromial artery is seen here. It’s emerging along the medial border of the pectoralis minor. It has several branches, some of those of which are called pectoral branches. And you can see them being distributed to your pectoral muscles. The lateral thoracic artery is this artery shown here and we can see it’s emerging along the lateral border or margin of the pectoralis minor and it’s going to help to supply the more lateral margin of your thoracic wall. And then the last artery, the subcostal artery, is best seen in the slide that we saw before. It will issue from the thoracic aorta and it assumes a course just inferior to the 12th rib. Veins of the thoracic wall are also covered in greater detail in the lecture on the vasculature of the thoracic wall, but we’re going to kind of duplicate the veins that we had with our intercostal arteries. So, we’ll have posterior intercostal veins and we’ll also have anterior intercostal veins. And you can see numerous examples of these intercostal veins accompanying the arteries within their intercostal spaces. The arteries are left out to simplify this particular diagram. And you can get an appreciation for the tributaries of these intercostal vessels which are also bullet-listed here on this slide. But again, we’ll cover this in greater detail in another lecture. Innervation of the thoracic wall, there are


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Thoracic Wall: Blood Supply – Thorax Muscles and Thoracic Wall by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Abdominal Wall.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Aorta
    2. Superior intercostal artery
    3. Internal thoracic artery
    4. Musculophrenic artery
    5. Superior epigastric artery
    1. Internal thoracic artery
    2. Intercostal artery
    3. Axillary artery
    4. Brachial artery
    5. Posterior intercostal artery

    Author of lecture Thoracic Wall: Blood Supply – Thorax Muscles and Thoracic Wall

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD


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