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A study on origin, termination, and course characteristics of internal thoracic artery relevant to coronary surgeries and reconstructive procedures

 Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Gaurav Agnihotri,
Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, House No. 248, Avtar Avenue, Majitha Road, Near Medical Enclave, Amritsar - 143 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_195_21

Objectives: The internal thoracic artery is a favored vessel for coronary artery bypass grafting and is utilized for breast reconstructive surgeries. Our study focuses on the origin, termination, and course characteristics of the internal thoracic artery. A comprehension of these morphological features and possible variations will definitely aid a clinician in appropriate harvesting of the artery for clinical procedures. Materials and Methods: 200 thoracic halves (from 100 embalmed adult human cadavers of either sex) were obtained from the department of anatomy. The origin, course characteristics, termination levels, and patterns for the internal thoracic artery were studied. Results: The internal thoracic artery originated from the first part of subclavian artery. The most common course pattern observed was medial concavity (88.5%). In 10% of cases, a tortuous course was observed. No artery with lateral concavity or rectilinear course pattern was documented. The artery terminated in the sixth space in 93.5% of cases. In 98% of cases, bifurcation in termination was observed. Trifurcation in termination was also observed in 2% of cases. The average length of variant artery (third terminating branch) was documented to be 5.5 cm. Conclusion: The increased utilization of the internal thoracic artery for coronary bypass arterial surgery and its role in sternal wound healing has made it imperative for clinicians to keep in mind its anatomical characteristics and local variations.This knowledge definitely will improve prognosis and decrease intraoperative/postoperative complications in patients undergoing coronary surgeries, percutaneous subclavian catheterizations, and reconstructive procedures.

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