Perforating branches of internal thoracic artery
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At the time the article was created James Harvey had no recorded disclosures.View James Harvey's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Frank Gaillard had no recorded disclosures.View Frank Gaillard's current disclosures
Perforating branches of the internal thoracic arteries arise from the paired internal thoracic arteries (also known as internal mammary arteries) and run in the superior six intercostal spaces. These arteries pierce the internal intercostal muscles and pectoralis major, contributing to the blood supply of these muscles and the overlying skin and fascia 1.
They are frequently accompanied by venous perforators and the anterior cutaneous branches of the intercostal nerves; wide variation in their course and length exists between individuals 2,3.
During lactation, the second to fourth perforating arteries increase in size to supply the mammary glands 4.
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