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Gray Communicating Branch of Spinal Nerve (Thoracic; Left)
Nervous System

Gray Communicating Branch of Spinal Nerve (Thoracic; Left)

Ramus communicans griseus nervi spinalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Sympathetic chain ganglia.

Course: Posteriorly to the adjacent spinal nerve.

Branches: No branches.

Supply: Postganglionic sympathetic innervation to the body structures of the appropriate level.

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Origin

The gray communicating branches of spinal nerves, or gray rami communicantes, are short axonal fasciculations that originate at each of the ganglia of the sympathetic trunk.

Course

The gray communicating branches run a short distance from the ganglia of the sympathetic trunk, posteriorly, to join the spinal nerve of the same level.

Branches

There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures & Function

Each gray communicating branch carries postganglionic sympathetic fibers that will innervate the targets of sympathetic innervation specific to that level of the body. Targets include blood vessels, sweat glands, and arrector pili muscles. Sympathetic innervation of visceral organs generally follows splanchnic nerves rather than gray rami.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Spinal Nerve

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Each spinal nerve supplies an embryologically defined somite or body segment, which is characterized by a dermatome, myotome, and sclerotome.

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