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Lateral Thoracic Artery
Cardiovascular System

Lateral Thoracic Artery

Arteria thoracica lateralis

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The lateral thoracic artery arises from the second part of the axillary artery. The axillary artery is divided into three parts, depending on the arteries location to the pectoralis minor muscle. Sometimes, the lateral thoracic artery may arise from a common trunk with the thoracoacromial artery (10%) or from the subscapular artery (10%) (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).


From its origin, the lateral thoracic artery descends along the lateral thoracic wall, deep to the pectoralis major and near the lateral border of the pectoralis minor. It continues as far as the fifth intercostal space.


The lateral thoracic artery gives rise to the lateral mammary branches.

Supplied Structures

The lateral thoracic artery supplies the serratus anterior, pectoralis major and minor, and subscapularis muscles, axillary lymph nodes, and contributes to the vasculature of the mammary gland.


Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

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Lateral Thoracic Artery

ScienceDirect image

The lateral thoracic artery originates from the axillary artery and follows the lower border of the pectoralis minor muscle along the chest wall, supplying the pectoralis muscles and the serratus muscles.

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