c l i n i c a l f o l i o s : n a r r a t i v e





A D V E R T I S E M E N T

 

Axillary Anatomy: 1

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

The axillary vessels and nerves traverse the upper part of the axilla between the costoclavicular (Halsted's) ligament and the medial side of the brachium. Surgical designation of the three levels of axillary lymph nodes has been defined by the borders of the pectoralis minor muscle which passes over the axillary vessels. The medial wall of the axilla formed by the serratus anterior muscle forms a deep V with the latissimus, teres major and subscapularis muscles on the posterolaterally. Several small vessels and nerves penetrate the axillary fat pad caudal to the axillary vein. The two important nerves are the long thoracic (of Bell) to the serratus and the thoracodorsal to the latissimus. The former is located medial and posterior and the latter lateral and anterior.    

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Axillary Anatomy: 2

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

The vessels are surrounded by an areolar axillary sheath which is a continuation of the prevertebral fascia. Lymph nodes are distributed through the axillary fat pad and lie mainly below the vein. The upper extremity and upper quadrant of the torso drain through their connecting lymphatic channels.      

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Axillary Anatomy: 3

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

The lymphatics are embedded in the axillary fat pad along with the vessels. The sensory intercostobrachial nerve traverses the fat pad from medial to lateral perpendicular to the other structures. It provides cutaneous sensation from the proximal medial brachium.      

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This page was last modified on 7/2/1999.