intercostal artery


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Related to intercostal artery: lumbar artery, Supreme intercostal artery, Posterior intercostal artery, suprarenal artery

intercostal artery

Any of the nine pairs of arteries that originate from the dorsal side of the thoracic aorta and run horizontally between the ribs to supply blood to the skin, muscles, and bones of the chest wall. These aortic intercostal arteries run in interspaces 3 to 11. The intercostal arteries of the first two interspaces are branches of the superior intercostal artery (a branch of the costocervical trunk of the subclavian artery). The anterior (sternal) segments of the upper nine intercostal spaces receive their blood supplies from the anterior intercostal arteries, which are branches of the internal mammary artery.
Synonym: posterior intercostal artery See: aorta (Branches of aorta)for illus.
See also: artery