Thoracoacromial Artery

Written by Aren Mnatzakanian

Last updated September 24, 2023 • 6 Revisions

The thoracoacromial artery (thoracoacromial trunk) is a short branch of the axillary artery.

It contributes to the blood supply of the shoulder and pectoral region.


The thoracoacromial artery arises from the second part of the axillary artery (posterior to the pectoralis minor muscle).

It passes inferiorly along the medial border of the pectoralis minor muscle, before piercing through the clavipectoral fascia.

The thoracoacromial artery then divides into four terminal branches:

  • Pectoral
  • Acromial
  • Clavicular
  • Deltoid

Fig 1
Course of the thoracoacromial trunk and its four terminal branches


Through its terminal branches, the thoracoacromial artery contributes to the blood supply to structures within the shoulder and pectoral regions:

  • Pectoral branch – pectoralis minor and major, breast tissue and overlying skin
  • Acromial branch – deltoid
  • Clavicular branch – sternoclavicular joint, subclavius
  • Deltoid branch – deltoid and pectoralis major
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