Subscapular Artery

Written by Aren Mnatzakanian

Last updated May 14, 2024 • 6 Revisions •

The subscapular artery is a branch of the axillary artery.

It provides arterial supply to muscles and skin of the shoulder, thoracic wall and upper limb.

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The subscapular artery is the first and largest branch from the third part of the axillary artery, airising distal to the pectoralis minor muscle.

It passes inferolaterally on the posterior wall of the axilla, following the inferior border of the subscapularis muscle.

Approximately 4cm from its origin, the subscapular artery terminates by dividing into two branches – the thoracodorsal artery and circumflex scapular artery.

Fig 1
Anatomical course of the subscapular artery


The subscapular artery supplies several muscles of the shoulder including:

  • Deltoid
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Long head of triceps brachii
  • Subscapularis
  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Serratus anterior
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