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Greater Thoracic Splanchnic Nerve
Nervous System

Greater Thoracic Splanchnic Nerve

Nervus splanchnicus thoracicus major

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Quick Facts

Origin: Fifth to ninth thoracic nerves (T5—T9).

Course: Anteriorly and inferiorly from the thoracic sympathetic chain, piercing the diaphragm and running down through the abdomen to the celiac and superior mesenteric ganglia.

Branches: No branches.

Supply: Sympathetic innervation to the vessels and viscera associated with the celiac trunk, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and foregut.

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Origin

The greater splanchnic nerve emerges from the sympathetic trunk ganglia, associated with the fifth to ninth thoracic nerve levels. These coalesce into the greater splanchnic nerve.

Course

The greater splanchnic nerve runs anteriorly towards the anterolateral surface of the vertebral bodies and inferiorly towards the abdomen. It pierces the diaphragm and runs through the abdomen to the celiac and superior mesenteric ganglia.

Branches

There are no branches of the greater thoracic splanchnic nerve.

Supplied Structures & Function

The sympathetic fibers of the greater splanchnic nerve synapse in the celiac ganglia. Postganglionic neurons in the celiac ganglia target the visceral organs of the foregut. This includes the liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, pancreas, and duodenum.

Visceral sensory fibers from the abdomen travel back to the central nervous system along the greater splanchnic nerve.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Splanchnic Nerve

ScienceDirect image

Stimulation of the splanchnic nerve (2–8 Hz) induces a frequency-dependent constriction of cortical interlobular arteries and afferent arterioles, with diameters decreasing by ∼50% as compared to unchanged efferent arteriolar diameter [1715].

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