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axillary artery


Definition: the continuation of the subclavian artery after it crosses the first rib to enter the axilla; it becomes the brachial artery on passing the inferior border of the teres major muscle. It is accompanied by the cords of the brachial plexus and is enclosed with them and the axillary vein in the axillary sheath as it traverses the axilla. Three parts of the axillary artery are described: (1) proximal, (2) posterior, and (3) distal to the pectoralis minor muscle. Branches: first part—superior thoracic artery; second part—thoracoacromial arterial trunk, lateral thoracic artery; third part—subscapular artery, anterior and posterior humeral circumflex arteries.

Synonym(s): arteria axillarisTA

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.