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Superior Phrenic Arteries (Right)
Cardiovascular System

Superior Phrenic Arteries (Right)

Arteriae phrenicae superiores

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Quick Facts

Origin: Descending thoracic aorta.

Course: Superior surface of the respiratory diaphragm.

Branches: None.

Supplied Structures: Respiratory diaphragm.

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The superior phrenic artery arises from the distal part of the descending thoracic aorta. Sometimes, the superior phrenic artery may arise from the tenth posterior intercostal artery (Loukas et al., 2007).


From its origin, the superior phrenic artery traverses the superior surface of the respiratory diaphragm.



Supplied Structures

The superior phrenic artery supplies the vertebral portion of the respiratory diaphragm. It also forms an anastomosis with the musculophrenic and pericardiacophrenic arteries to ensure constant supply to the diaphragm.


Loukas, M., Louis, R. G., Wartmann, C. T., Tubbs, R. S., Esmaeili, E., Bagenholm, A. C., Merbs, W., Curry, B. and Jordan, R. (2007) 'Superior phrenic artery: an anatomic study', Surg Radiol Anat, 29(1), pp. 97-102

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


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.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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