Perforating branches of internal thoracic artery
Perforating branches of the internal thoracic arteries arise from the paired internal thoracic arteries (also known as internal mammary arteries) and run in the superior six intercostal spaces. These arteries pierce the internal intercostal muscles and pectoralis major, contributing to the blood supply of these muscles and the overlying skin and fascia 1.
They are frequently accompanied by venous perforators and the anterior cutaneous branches of the intercostal nerves; wide variation in their course and length exists between individuals 2,3.
During lactation, the second to fourth perforating arteries increase in size to supply the mammary glands 4.
- 1. Henry Gray. Gray’s Anatomy (Illustrated With 1247 Coloured Well Drawing Engrawings). (2016) ISBN: 9786059654708
- 2. Nakatani K, Maeda H, Tanaka Y, Hamada N, Nishioka A, Sasaguri S, Ogawa Y. Perforating branches of the internal thoracic artery in women with breast cancer: an anatomical study for breast-conservation surgery. (2008) Oncology reports. 19 (5): 1299-303. Pubmed
- 3. Henriquez-Pino JA, Gomes WJ, Prates JC, Buffolo E. Surgical anatomy of the internal thoracic artery. (1997) The Annals of thoracic surgery. 64 (4): 1041-5. Pubmed
- 4. Kirby I. Bland, Edward M. Copeland, V. Suzanne Klimberg, William J Gradishar. The Breast E-Book. (2017) ISBN: 9780323511872