Superior thoracic artery

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 6 Nov 2017

The superior thoracic artery is the only branch of the first part of the axillary artery.  It is only a small and highly variable artery.

Gross anatomy

Origin and course

The superior thoracic artery originates from the first part of the axillary artery, just inferior to subclavius. It courses posterior to the axillary vein.


It anastomoses with the internal thoracic and anterior and posterior intercostal arteries as well as with the lateral thoracic artery.

Variant Anatomy
  • origin from the thoracoacromial artery

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: diagram
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  • Figure 2: axillary anatomy (Gray's illustration)
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