Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 584
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
of about 1.25 cm. from the margin of the sternum, and at the level of the sixth intercostal space divides into the musculophrenic and superior epigastric arteries.

Relations.—It is directed at first downward, forward, and medialward behind the sternal end of the clavicle, the subclavian and internal jugular veins, and the first costal cartilage, and passes forward close to the lateral side of the innominate vein. As it enters the thorax the phrenic nerve crosses from its lateral to its medial side. Below the first costal cartilage it descends almost vertically to its point of bifurcation. It is covered in front by the cartilages of the upper six ribs and the intervening Intercostales interni and anterior intercostal membranes, and is crossed by the terminal portions of the upper six intercostal nerves. It rests on the pleura, as far as the third costal cartilage; below this level, upon the Transversus thoracis. It is accompanied by a pair of veins; these unite above to form a single vessel, which runs medial to the artery and ends in the corresponding innominate vein.

Branches.—The branches of the internal mammary are:
Anterior Mediastinal.
Superior Epigastric.
  The Pericardiacophrenic Artery (a. pericardiacophrenica; a. comes nervi phrenici) is a long slender branch, which accompanies the phrenic nerve, between the pleura and pericardium, to the diaphragm, to which it is distributed; it anastomoses with the musculophrenic and inferior phrenic arteries.
  The Anterior Mediastinal Arteries (aa. mediastinales anteriores; mediastinal arteries) are small vessels, distributed to the areolar tissue and lymph glands in the anterior mediastinal cavity, and to the remains of the thymus.
  The Pericardial Branches supply the upper part of the anterior surface of the pericardium; the lower part receives branches from the musculophrenic artery.
  The Sternal Branches (rami sternales) are distributed to the Transversus thoracis, and to the posterior surface of the sternum.
  The anterior mediastinal, pericardial, and sternal branches, together with some twigs from the pericardiacophrenic, anastomose with branches from the intercostal and bronchial arteries, and form a subpleural mediastinal plexus.
  The Intercoastal Branches (rami intercostales; anterior intercostal arteries) supply the upper five or six intercostal spaces. Two in number in each space, these small vessels pass lateralward, one lying near the lower margin of the rib above, and the other near the upper margin of the rib below, and anastomose with the intercostal arteries from the aorta. They are at first situated between the pleura and the Intercostales interni, and then between the Intercostales interni and externi. They supply the Intercostales and, by branches which perforate the Intercostales externi, the Pectorales and the mamma.
  The Perforating Branches (rami perforantes) correspond to the five or six intercostal spaces. They pass forward through the intercostal spaces, and, curving lateralward, supply the Pectoralis major and the integument. Those which correspond to the second, third, and fourth spaces give branches to the mamma, and during lactation are of large size.
  The Musculophrenic Artery (a. musculophrenica) is directed obliquely downward and lateralward, behind the cartilages of the false ribs; it perforates the diaphragm at the eighth or ninth costal cartilage, and ends, considerably reduced in size, opposite the last intercostal space. It gives off intercostal branches to the seventh, eighth, and ninth intercostal spaces; these diminish in size as the spaces decrease in length, and are distributed in a manner precisely similar to the intercostals from the internal mammary. The musculophrenic also gives branches to the lower part of the pericardium, and others which run backward to the diaphragm, and downward to the abdominal muscles.


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