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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: R: Rectus Capitis Anterior

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: R

Rectus Capitis Anterior

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

This small flat muscle, partly covered by longus capitis, arises from the transverse process of the atlas and is inserted into the basilar process of the occipital bone, between the foramen magnum and the longus capitis muscle.. It represents an anterior intertransverse muscle. It may be absent or reduced to a few fiber bundles, or it may fail to reach the occipital bone, inserting into the occipitoatlantal ligament. A medial part may separate from the primary muscle mass and has been named rectus capitis minimus.


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

Gruber, W. (1876) Über den Musculus rectus capitis anticus medius s. minimus. Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wissen Med. 1876:750-752.

Gruber, W. (1880) Über den Musculus atlantico-basiliaris, M. epistropheobasilaris und andere von den obersten Halswirbeln zwischen den Mn. recti capitis antici majores vorkommende Muskelvarietäten. Arch. Path. Anat. Physiol. Klin. Med. 82:465-473.

Macalister, A. (1875) Observations on muscular anomalies in the human anatomy. Third series with a catalogue of the principal muscular anomalies hitherto published. Trans. Roy. Irish Acad. Sci. 25:1-130.

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