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Lateral Cutaneous Branch of First Intercostal Nerve (Right)
Nervous System

Lateral Cutaneous Branch of First Intercostal Nerve (Right)

Ramus cutaneus lateralis nervi intercostalis primi

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The lateral cutaneous branch of the first intercostal nerve arises roughly along the mid-axillary line.


The lateral cutaneous branch pierces the thoracic wall, through the internal and external intercostal muscles.


The lateral cutaneous branch further subdivides into anterior and posterior branches that extend anteriorly and posteriorly along the thoracic wall, respectively. The lateral cutaneous branch is sometimes not present.

Supplied Structures & Function

When present, the lateral cutaneous branch supplies the skin of the axilla, as well as the skin overlying the first intercostal space. See our dermatome map for cutaneous innervation. It may also communicate with the intercostobrachial nerve or the medial brachial cutaneous nerve.

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Intercostal Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The intercostal nerve frequently runs within the middle of the intercostal space (73% of the time) and occasionally courses along the inferior aspect of the intercostal space just above the subjacent rib (Hardy, 1988).

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