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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax: Dorsal Scapular Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax

Dorsal Scapular Artery

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


In 70% of individuals, this artery arises from the second or third part of the subclavian as an independent branch. In 30%, it arises from the transverse cervical artery. If this inconstant artery arises from the subclavian, it usually passes dorsally between the trunks of the brachial plexus (middle and superior in 46%, and middle and posterior in 44%). It may perforate the middle and posterior scalene muscles; these two muscles usually form a common mass.

If the dorsal scapular artery is a branch of the transverse cervical, it arises at the superior angle of the scapula and descends vertically along the medial border of the scapula.

The dorsal scapular artery may be an additional branch from the third part of the subclavian (34% of individuals). This artery is inconstant (30-40%) and may arise from other parts of the subclavian.

Origin

Number

Percent

A. From the Transverse Cervical Artery

54

30.3

B. From Subclavian, part 2

1. Directly

54

30.3

2. With the Costocervical Trunk

2

1.1

3. With the Suprascapular Artery

4

2.2

C. From Subclavian, part 3

1. Directly

55

30.9

2. With the Costocervical Trunk

1

0.6

3. With the Suprascapular Artery

3

1.7

D. Directly from:

1. Thyrocervical Trunk

1

0.6

2. Subclavian

1

0.6

3. Axillary, part 1

2

1.2

4. Axillary, part 2

1

0.6

from Huelke, 1958.

In 100 cases, the dorsal scapular artery arose from the following clavicular regions:

12 times from the thoracic portion;
29 times from the scalene portion;
52 times from the clavicular portion;
6 times from the axillary portion.

In 100 cases Dubreuil-Chambardel reported:

45 times the dorsal scapular artery was an independent vessel (Pelligrini found this 39 times in 104 cases);
3 times it arose with the costocervical trunk;
30 times it arose with the arteries to the scalene muscles;
2 times the dorsal scapular artery arose with the vertebral artery;
8 times it arose with the stem of the inferior thyroid;
8 times the dorsal scapular artery arose with the subscapular artery.

from Dubreuil-Chambardel.

Image 121, Image 307


References

Anson, B.J.,Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed., The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore and Munich.

Deaver, J.B. (1889) Anomalies of the posterior scapular artery. University Medical Magazine, Philadelphia 2:151.

Dubreuil-Chambardel, L. (1926) Variations des Artères Membre Superieur. Masson et Cie., Paris.

Huelke, D.F. (1958) A study of the transverse cervical and dorsal scapular arteries. Anat. Rec. 132:233-245.

Huelke, D.F. (1959) Variation in the origins of the branches of the axillary artery. Anat. Rec. 135:33-41.

Huelke, D.F. (1962) The dorsal scapular artery. A proposed term for the artery to the Rhomboids. Anat. Rec. 142:57-61.

Kopsch, F. (1908) Rauber's Lehrbuch und Atlas der Anatomie des Menschen. Georg Thieme, Leipzig.

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