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Circumflex Scapular Artery
Cardiovascular System

Circumflex Scapular Artery

Arteria circumflexa scapulae

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Quick Facts

Origin: Subscapular artery.

Course: Along lateral scapular border into infraspinous fossa.

Branches: Unnamed branches.

Supplied Structures: Posterior portion of the teres major and minor muscles, deltoid muscle, long head of the triceps brachii muscle, scapula, skin overlying the scapula.

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The subscapular artery terminally bifurcates into the larger circumflex scapular artery and the smaller thoracodorsal artery.


The circumflex scapular artery travels posteriorly and curves around the lateral scapular margin and travels across the triangular space. This space lies between the subscapularis, teres minor, and the long head of the triceps brachii muscles. It then travels in the infraspinous fossa, deep to the teres major, minor, and infraspinatus muscles.


The circumflex scapular artery provides origin for an unnamed branch which travels to the subscapular fossa and anastomoses with the vessels on the anterior surface of the scapula (Standring, 2016). Another unnamed branch descends on the lateral border and runs between the two teres muscles, then posterior to the inferior angle where it anastomosis with the dorsal scapular artery. There are additional small muscular branches.

Supplied Structures

The circumflex scapular artery gives muscular branches to the teres major, infraspinatus, posterior deltoid, and the long head of the triceps brachii muscles, as well as contributing to the anastomotic network of the scapula. Additionally, there are cutaneous branches that supply the skin overlying the scapula.


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Circumflex Scapular Artery

ScienceDirect image

Based on the circumflex scapular artery and vein, the scapula flap can be used as a soft-tissue–only flap or as an osseocutaneous flap, providing up to 10 cm of vascularized bone.

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