Axillary Artery Animation Diagram

The axillary artery begins at the lateral border of the first rib as a continuation of the subclavian artery . It changes its name to brachial artery at lower (inferior) border of the teres major muscle. For purposes of description, it is broken up into three parts by its relation to the pectoralis minor muscle. The first part is between the lateral border of the first rib and the medial border of the pectoralis minor, the second part is behind the pectoralis minor and the third part is between the lateral border of the pectoralis minor and the inferior border of the teres major.


 

Part

I

(1)  Superior Thoracic artery         

It runs forward and medialward along the upper border of the pectoralis minor; then the artery passes between it and the pectoralis major to the side of the chest. It supplies branches to the first and second intercostal spaces as well as to the superior portion of serratus anterior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part

II

(2) Thoracoacromial artery

 The thoracoacromial artery is a short trunk, which arises from the forepart of the axillary artery, its origin being generally overlapped by the upper edge of the Pectoralis minor.

A.  Pectoral Branch

 Descends between the two Pectorales, and is distributed to them and to the mamma, anastomosing with the intercostal branches of the internal mammary and with the lateral thoracic.

B.  Deltoid Branch

Often arising with the acromial, it crosses over the Pectoralis minor and passes in the same groove as the cephalic vein, between the Pectoralis major and Deltoideus, and gives branches to both muscles.

C.  Acromial Branch

 

 Runs lateralward over the coracoid process and under the Deltoideus, to which it gives branches; it then pierces that muscle and ends on the acromion in an arterial network formed by branches from the transverse scapular, thoracoacromial, and posterior humeral circumflex arteries..

D.  Clavicular Branch

 Runs upward and medialward to the sternoclavicular joint, supplying this articulation, and the Subclavius

(3)  Lateral Thoracic artery

 

 It originates from the axillary artery and follows the lower border of the Pectoralis minor muscle to the side of the chest, supplies the Serratus anterior muscle and the Pectoralis major muscle, and sends branches across the axilla to the axillary lymph nodes and Subscapularis muscle. In the female it supplies an external mammary branch which turns round the free edge of the Pectoralis major and supplies the breasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part

III

(4)  Subscapular artery

 The largest branch of the axillary artery, arises at the lower border of the Subscapularis, which it follows to the inferior angle of the scapula. About 4 cm. from its origin it gives off two branches.

        E. Circumflex Scapular artery

 

 It curves around the axillary border of the scapula, traveling through the anatomical triangular space. It enters the infraspinatous fossa under cover of the Teres minor, and anastomoses with the transverse scapular artery and the descending branch of the transverse cervical. It supplies muscles in this area.

        F. Thoracodorsal artery

 It travels inferiorly with the thoracodorsal nerve thoracodorsal nerve and supplies the latissimus dorsi.

(5)  Anterior Humeral Circumflex artery

 

 It is considerably smaller than the posterior, arises nearly opposite it, from the lateral side of the axillary artery. It runs horizontally, beneath the Coracobrachialis and short head of the Biceps brachii, in front of the neck of the humerus. On reaching the intertubercular sulcus, it gives off a branch which ascends in the sulcus to supply the head of the humerus and the shoulder-joint.

(6)  Posterior Humeral Circumflex artery

 It runs backward with the axillary nerve through the quadrangular space. It winds around the neck of the humerus and is distributed to the deltoideus and shoulder-joint, anastomosing with the anterior humeral circumflex and profunda brachii.

 


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