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Axillary Sheath
Connective Tissue

Axillary Sheath

Vagina axillaris

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The axillary sheath is a sleeve-like extension of the cervical fascia, which is surrounded by axillary fat. It contains the axillary vessels and the cords of the brachial plexus (Standring, 2016; Moore, Dalley and Agur, 2013). However, it is argued that the axillary vein is not a content of the axillary sheath, where it remains outside of the sheath, allowing it to expand during increased blood flow (McMinn, 2003).

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Anatomical Relations

The axillary sheath wraps around the first part of the axillary artery, located between the lateral border of the first rib and the medial border of the pectoralis minor. It is located lateral to scalenus anterior muscle and forms part of the boundary of the medial brachial fascial compartment.


The axillary sheath creates a neurovascular bundle and protects the structures that lie within it.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Acute neuronal injuries

—Brachial plexus nerve block


McMinn, R. M. H. (2003) Last's Anatomy: Regional and Applied. Elsevier Australia.

Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F. and Agur, A. M. R. (2013) Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 7th edn.: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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

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Axillary Sheath

ScienceDirect image

The axillary sheath, a collection of connective tissue surrounding the neurovascular structures, is a continuation of the prevertebral fascia that separates the anterior and middle scalene muscles (Fig. 74-5).

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