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Other Terms: Subclavian arterial tree, Arterial tree of upper limb, Arteria subclavia (dextra), Arteria subclavia, Artère subclavière
Left Subclavian Artery
The left subclavian artery arises directly from the arch of the aorta, while the right arises from the brachiocephalic artery. The left lies deeper, is longer and more vertical. The relations of the second and third portions of the subclavian artery are alike on both sides. In its second portion, the artery lies behind the anterior scalene and in front of the scalenus medius muscle. At this point, it rises highest above the clavicle, usually about two centimeters. It is covered by the skin, the superficial fascia, the platysma muscle, the superficial layer of the deep fascia, the clavicular origin of the sternomastoid muscle, the posterior process of the deep fascia, the phrenic nerve, and the anterior scalene muscle. Above it lies the lowest of the three cervical trunks of the brachial plexus of nerves. Behind it are the scalenus medius muscle and the apex of the lung and of the pleura. Below it are the pleura, while below and in front of it is the subclavian vein. This portion gives off only one branch, the costocervical trunk. The third portion of the subclavian artery passes downward and lateral from the lateral margin of the anterior scalene muscle to the lower border of the first rib, occupying the subclavian triangle, where it is nearer the surface than in either the first or second portion of its course. It is covered by the skin, the superficial fascia, the platysma muscle, the superficial layer and the posterior of the two processes of the deep fascia, and near its termination by the clavicle and subclavius muscle. Behind the artery are the scalenus medius muscle and the lowest cervical trunk of the brachial plexus. Below this portion of the artery is the first rib. The third portion of the subclavian artery, as a rule, does not give off branches.
Right Subclavian Artery
The right subclavian artery arises as one of the two terminal divisions of the brachiocephalic artery behind the upper border of the right sternoclavicular articulation. The first portion of the artery lies deep in the neck, and ascends upward and lateral to the medial border of the anterior scalene muscle. It is covered anteriorly by the skin, the superficial fascia, the platysma muscle, the superficial layer of the deep fascia, the sternal end of the clavicle, the sternomastoid muscle, the anterior jugular vein, the sternohyoid and sternothyroid muscles, and the posterior process of the prevertebral fascia. It continues forward from in front of the scaleni muscles. It is crossed by the internal jugular and vertebral veins, the vagus nerve, the superior cardiac nerves, the ansa subclavian of the cervical sympathetic, and the phrenic nerve. Below the artery are the pleura, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, and the subclavian vein. The recurrent laryngeal nerve, cord of the cervical sympathetic nerve, longus colli muscle, the transverse process of the seventh cervical or first thoracic vertebra, from which it is separated by a small quantity of cellular tissue and fat, and the apex of the lung, covered with pleura.
Arteria subclavia (dextra)