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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: S: Semispinalis Capitis (Arnold)

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

Semispinalis Capitis (Arnold)

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The slips of attachment vary considerably in number. The muscle may receive accessory slips from longissimus or spinalis (dorsi s. thoracis). A rare variation is the presence of a second lamella under the medial portion of the muscle, extending from one or more of the upper thoracic transverse processes to the occipital bone.

Another slip of muscle, biventer cervicis (Henle), is superficial and located medially, may appear to have a tendinous intersection, but remains fleshy; it may have two distinct bellies, or two distinct bellies joined only by a strong tendon (several centimeters in length). It arises from lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae and transverse processes, and inserts onto the occipital bone and inion.

Syn.: m. complexus (Cowper), complexus major (Krause), Grand complexus (Cruveilhier)


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

Henle, J. (1871) Handbuch der Muskellehre des Menschen, in Handbuch der systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. Verlag von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig.

Huber, C.G., Ed. (1930) Piersol's Human Anatomy, 9th ed., L.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.

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

Schaefer, E.A., Symington, J, and T.H. Bryce, Eds. (1923) Quain's Elements of Anatomy, 11th ed., Longmans, Green and Co. London.

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