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Lateral Cutaneous Branch of Third Posterior Intercostal Artery (Left)
Cardiovascular System

Lateral Cutaneous Branch of Third Posterior Intercostal Artery (Left)

Ramus cutaneous lateralis arteria intercostalis posterior tertia

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Origin

The lateral cutaneous branch arises from the posterior intercostal artery in the region of the midaxillary line. They are less significant in the upper three intercostal spaces.

Course

The lateral cutaneous branch, accompanied by a corresponding vein and nerve, pierces the intercostal muscles to emerge between the digits of serratus anterior and external abdominal oblique muscles to reach the skin.

Branches

The lateral cutaneous branch divides into posterior and anterior rami which extend anteriorly and posteriorly along the lateral thoracic wall.

Supplied Structures

The lateral cutaneous branches of the posterior intercostal arteries supply the skin of the lateral thoracic wall.

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Artery

ScienceDirect image

When the artery is occluded blood is forced through the collateral vessels, drastically increasing fluid shear stress and triggering an inflammatory response which drives vessel remodeling.

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