Scapular anastomosis

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 02 Aug 2021

The pectoral girdle has a rich plexus of arterial vessels that anastomose around the scapula and its muscles known as the scapular anastomosis. It functions to allow blood to flow around the scapula and shoulder joint if there is injury or occlusion. Contributing branches arise from as proximal as the first part of the subclavian artery, to as distal as the third part of the axillary artery. The branches that contribute include:

There is also anastomoses over the acromion process between the acromial branches of the thoraco-acromial, suprascapular artery, and posterior circumflex humeral arteries ref.

Accompanying veins also form a rich venous plexus.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: scapular arterial anastomoses (Gray's illustration)
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