Unit 13

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  1. What is the axilla? What structures does it contain?
    • Axilla is potential space between the arm (shoulder to elbow) and the lateral chest wall
    • It is connected to the posterior triangle thruthe cervico-axillary canal
    • It is shaped like a blunted (or truncated) pyramid
    • It contains a number of important structures: Brachial plexus, Axillary vessels, Groups of lymph nodes, Fat
  2. What are the boundaries of the axilla?
    • Apex – it is called the cervico-axillary canal.It connects the axilla to the side of the neck (posterior triangle)
    • Anterior wall – subclavius, pectoralis major,and minor muscles covered by their fascias (Pectoralis major – pectoral fascia; Subclavius and pectoralis minor – clavipectoralfascia)
    • Medial wall – serratus anterior muscle and ribs(upper thoracic wall)
    • Posterior wall – [cranial to caudal]subscapularis, teres major, and latissmus dorsi
    • Lateral wall – coracobracialis and bicepsbrachii muscles (intertubercular)
    • Floor – dome of skin {armpit) which openslaterally into the arm
  3. What is the cervio-axillary canal?
    • It is only seen from a superior view
    • It connects the structures of the side of the neck with structure below
    • Its borders are: the superior border of the scapula, the posterior border of the clavicle, and the lateral border of thefirst rib (Because the borders are boney, the will not move or change which makes this a confine space. This area could be compressed byfractures of the clavicle and first rib)
  4. What does the axillary sheath contain?
    A neural vascular bundle that consists ofbrachial plexus, axillary vein and artery that travels through and to the axilla
  5. How many divisions is the axillary artery made up of? And what are their boundaries?
    • It is the subclavian artery. However, once ithas it pasted the lateral border of the first rib, it is called the axillaryartery. It ends at the lower border of teres major.
    • The artery has three parts that are divided bythe pectoralis minor.
    • 1st part – starts at the lateralborder of the first rib and ends at the superior border of the pectoralis minor
    • 2nd part – starts and ends behind thepectoralis minor
    • 3rd part – starts at the lower borderof the pectoralis minor and ends at the lower border of the teres major
  6. What are the branches off the first part of the axillary artery?
    • First part of the axillary artery has 1 branch
    • Superior thoracic artery – small andoriginates form the anterior surface of the axillary artery and it supplies the first intercostal space
  7. What are the branches off the second part of the axillary artery?
    • Second part of the axillary artery has 2 branches
    • Thoracoacromial artery (trunk – APCD) –short and originates from the anterior surface of the artery just posterior to the medial margin of the pectoralis minor. It also contributes vascular supply to the breast
    • Lateral thoracic artery – it arises onthe anterior surface of the artery and supplies the medial and anterior wallsof the axilla. It also contributes to the vascular supply of the breast
  8. What are the branches off the third part of the axillary artery?
    • Third part of the axillary artery has 3 branches
    • Subscapular artery (trunk) – the largestbranch of the axillary artery and major blood supply to the posterior wall of the axilla
    • Anterior humeral circumflex artery –smaller compared to the posterior circumflex artery and it circles around thesuperior 1/3 of the humerus
    • Posterior humeral circumflex artery – itcircles around the superior 1/3 of the humerus
  9. Where is the axillary vein?
    • The vein starts at the lower border of the teres major muscle and continues up to the subclavian vein at the inferior border ofthe first rib
    • It lays anteriorly and inferiorly to the arteryand most often larger in diameter
  10. What vein(s) branch(es) off the axillary vein?
    • One major vein is the cephalic vein that bringsblood from the upper limb back to the axillary vein by a path that passes through the clavipectoral triangle
    • There are small veins branching back to theaxillary vein that correspond with the name of the arteries.
  11. What are the parts of the brachial plexus? Be specific.
    • Rami, trunks, divisions, cords, terminal branches
    • See diagram for answers!
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Unit 13
Exam 2
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