Brachiocephalic trunk

The brachiocephalic trunk (BCT) (also known as the brachiocephalic artery, and previously as the innominate artery) is a major vessel that supplies the head, neck and right arm.

The brachiocephalic trunk is the first of the three main branches of the aortic arch, which originates from the upward convexity. It measures 4-5 cm in length with a diameter of 12.1 ± 1.6 mm. 

After arising in the midline it courses upwards to the right, crossing the trachea and bifurcates posterior to the right sternoclavicular joint, into the right subclavian and right common carotid arteries. It has no other branches. 

Anatomy: Thoracic

Anatomy: Thoracic

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Article information

rID: 28697
System: Vascular, Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Innominate artery
  • Brachiocephalic artery
  • Brachiocephalic trunk (BCT)

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: mediastinum (Gray's illustration)
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