external intercostal muscle

ex·ter·nal in·ter·cos·tal mus·cle

(eks-tĕr'nal in'tĕr-kos'tăl mŭs'ĕl)
Flat muscle of thorax arising from lower border of one rib and passing obliquely downward and forward to be inserted into upper border of rib below; action, contracts during inspiration to elevate ribs; also serves to maintain tension in intercostal spaces to resist inward movement during inspiration; nerve supply, intercostal.
Synonym(s): musculus intercostalis externus.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
It gave off the small branches which arose on average 18 mm from the origin point, supplied the first external intercostal muscle. The mean length of the vascular pedicle of serratus anterior branch which harvested from origin point through the junction of the slips 5 and 6 was 15.3 cm; the mean diameter at the level of the junction of slips 5 and 6 was 1.1 mm.
When the external intercostal muscles contract, they lift the ribs up and out, expanding the lungs and causing inhalation.
For our thoracic cavity to expand, we must employ specific muscles; namely, the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles (muscles lying between our ribs).
The external intercostal muscles which contracted concentrically to raise the rib cage during inhalation act eccentrically during exhalation as they relax and lengthen to lower the rib cage back down under control.
Both the external intercostal muscles and the intercondral elevate the ribs, thus increasing the width of the thoracic cavity, while the diaphragm contracts to increase the vertical dimensions of the thoracic cavity, and also aids in the elevation of the lower ribs.
Thus, also stimulating external intercostal muscles or abdominal muscles is not necessary to maintain adequate alveolar ventilation in a nonexercising, paralyzed individual [4].
Contraction of the external intercostal muscles pulls the ribs outward, thereby preventing the inward movement of the upper rib cage; the net effect is to augment the volume of inspired air (Figure 3).
During inspiration, the external intercostal muscles elevate the sternum and anterior thorax increasing the anterior-posterior diameter.
She reminded me that the "checking action" during expiration, which keeps the elastic recoil forces of expiration from expelling all the inhaled air immediately, is provided by the external intercostal muscles. I had stated that the checking action is provided by the abdominal muscles.
Some singers might be able to regulate pulmonary pressure for breath support through contraction of the diaphragm during exhalation (muscular antagonism); many more believe they are using their diaphragms for this purpose, but are actually engaging the external intercostal muscles. Since contraction of either the diaphragm or the external intercostals during exhalation will help minimize subglottal air pressure, use of either muscle achieves the same goal.

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