The superior thoracic artery is a branch of the axillary artery. It supplies some of the muscles of the anterior and lateral chest wall.
The superior thoracic artery has a highly variable course between individuals.
It originates from the first part of the axillary artery, proximal to the pectoralis minor muscle. It passes anteromedially and inferiorly, posterior to the axillary vein.
It then courses along the superior border of the pectoralis minor muscle as it passes between pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles.
The branches of the superior thoracic artery anastomose with branches of the internal thoracic and superior intercostal arteries.
The superior thoracic artery gives arterial supply to the following structures:
- Pectoralis minor muscle
- Pectoralis major muscle
- Subclavius muscle
- Superior aspect of serratus anterior muscle
- Muscle and skin of first and second intercostal spaces (via small unnamed branches)