Thoracoacromial artery

Last revised by Jay Gajera on 23 Mar 2022

The thoracoacromial artery is a vessel arising from the axillary artery at the axilla.


Gross anatomy


The thoracoacromial artery arises from the second part of the axillary artery located posterior to the pectoralis minor muscle 2. It is the first of two arterial branches which arise from the second part of the axillary artery 1. With the second part being the lateral thoracic artery 1


The thoracoacromial artery travels a short course deep to the medial border of the pectoralis minor muscle and then passes through the clavipectoral fascia. It then divides into four branches including the clavicular, acromial, pectoral, and deltoid branches 2.


The thoracoacromial artery typically has 4 distinct branches:

  • clavicular
  • acromial
  • pectoral
  • deltoid

See this mnemonic for the branches.


Through its four main branches, the thoracoacromial artery contributes arterial supply to the pectoralis major and minor muscles, the anterior part of the deltoid muscle, and the clavipectoral fascia 2

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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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