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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Thorax: Intercostal Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Thorax

Intercostal Artery

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The arteries of the first and second intercostal spaces usually arise from the superior intercostal branch of the subclavian, but occasionally the artery of the second space, and more rarely that of the first, may arise from the thoracic aorta. The arteries of the third and fourth intercostal spaces, as well as those of the first and second, may arise from the superior intercostal, the aortic intercostals being correspondingly reduced in number.

Esophageal branches are found in 20% of humans, on the right side, arising from the fifth posterior intercostal artery.

Occasionally the second intercostal is formed by a branch that arises from the first aortic intercostal and runs upward to the second space over the neck of the third rib; a similar condition may be found in the lower arteries, two or more intercostal spaces being supplied from a common stem.

Finally, the right and left arteries of one or all of the intercostal pairs may arise from a common stem, which arise from the posterior median line of the aorta.

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

Bachmann, D. and E. Haasner. (1965) Truncus Intercosto-renalis. Fortschr. Geb. Rontgenstr. Nuklearmed. 102:712-713.

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.

Ennabli, E. (1966) L'artère intercostale supérieure. Arch. Anat. Path., Paris 14:A98-A103.

Latarjet, A. (1948) Testut's Traite d'Anatomie Humaine, 9th ed., G. Doin & Cie, Paris.

Pensa, A. (1905) Osservazioni sulla morfologia e sullo sviluppo della arteria intercostalis suprema e delle arteriae intercostales. Bollettino della Societa Medico-Chirurgica, Pavia 1:48-83.

Schaefer, E.A., Symington, J. and T.H. Bryce, Eds. (1915) Quain's Anatomy, 11 th ed., Longmans, Green and Co., London.

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