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Lesser Thoracic Splanchnic Nerve
Nervous System

Lesser Thoracic Splanchnic Nerve

Nervus splanchnicus thoracicus minor

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ninth to tenth thoracic nerves (T9—T10).

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

Branches: No branches.

Supply: Sympathetic innervation to the vessels and viscera of the midgut, kidneys, adrenal glands, and upper ureter.

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Origin

The lesser splanchnic nerve emerges from the sympathetic trunk ganglia associated with the ninth and tenth thoracic nerve level.

Course

The lesser 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 superior mesenteric and aorticorenal ganglia.

Branches

There are no branches of the lesser thoracic splanchnic nerve.

Supplied Structures & Function

The sympathetic fibers of the lesser splanchnic nerve synapse in either the superior mesenteric or aorticorenal ganglia. The postganglionic fibers from the superior mesenteric ganglion innervate vessels and viscera of the midgut. The postganglionic fibers from the aorticorenal ganglion innervate the kidneys, adrenal glands, and upper ureters.

Visceral sensory fibers from these tissues return to the central nervous system via the lesser 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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