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Superior Thoracic Artery
Cardiovascular System

Superior Thoracic Artery

Arteria thoracica superior

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The superior thoracic artery arises from the first part of the axillary artery. The axillary artery is divided into three parts, depending on the arteries location to the pectoralis minor muscle.


From its origin, the superior thoracic artery passes the subclavius muscle to travel anteromedially on the superior border of the pectoralis minor. It then passes between it and the pectoralis major muscle.


There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The superior thoracic artery supplies the intercostal muscles of the first and second intercostal spaces, the superior digits of serratus anterior, and the pectoralis major and minor muscles. It may also supply the mammary gland.

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Thoracic Artery

ScienceDirect image

8 Thoracic artery grafts show a gradual longitudinal transition from predominantly systolic velocity proximally to predominantly diastolic velocity distally, whereas saphenous vein graft flow velocity patterns have a consistently diastolic predominance, both proximally and distally.

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