Breast, Anterior Axioappendicular Muscles of the Upper Limb

Gross Anatomy


Surface Anatomy of the Upper Limb; Superficial Veins and Cutaneous Nerves


Anatomy Tables for Today's Topic

Superficial Veins of the Upper Limb
Cutaneous Nerves of the Upper Limb
Lymphatics of the Thoracic Wall and Axillary Region

Superficial Veins of the Upper Limb

Vein Tributaries Drains Into Regions Drained Notes
basilic v. medial end of the dorsal venous arch of the hand; superficial veins of the forearm; median cubital v. it unites with the brachial vein(s) to form the axillary v. superficial parts of the medial side of the hand and medial side of the forearm basilic v. communicates with deep veins of the forearm through perforating veins, especially in the cubital region
cephalic v. lateral side of the dorsal venous arch of the hand; superficial veins of the forearm axillary vein superficial parts of the lateral hand and lateral forearm median cubital vein usually shunts some of the blood collected by the cephalic v. to the basilic v.
median cubital v. cephalic basilic superficial parts of the hand and forearm a median antebrachial vein occurs occasionally and, when present, it may drain into the median cubital vein

Cutaneous Nerves of the Upper Limb

Nerve Source Branches Motor Sensory Notes
posterior brachial cutaneous radial numerous unnamed branches to the skin sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the posterior arm emerges medial to the long head of the triceps brachii muscle
dorsal branch of the ulnar n. ulnar n. dorsal digital sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the dorsal surface of the medial 1 1/2 digits; skin of the medial side of the back of the hand dorsal branch of the ulnar n. emerges at the level of the ulnar styloid process
inferior lateral brachial cutaneous n. radial n. via its posterior antebrachial cutaneous br. no named branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the lateral side of the distal arm emerges at the lateral intermuscular septum just below the deltoid m.
intercostobrachial n. also known as the lateral cutaneous br. of the ventral primary ramus of T2 no named branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the medial side of the arm intercostobrachial n. communicates with the medial brachial cutaneous nerve
lateral antebrachial cutaneous musculocutaneous n. anterior and posterior branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the lateral side of the forearm lateral antebrachial cutaneous n. emerges from the lateral intermuscular interval between biceps and brachialis; it is the continuation of the musculocutaneous n.
medial antebrachial cutaneous n. medial cord of the brachial plexus no named branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the medial side of the forearm medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve travels with the basilic vein for part of its course
medial brachial cutaneous n. medial cord of the brachial plexus no named branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the medial side of the arm communicates with the intercostobrachial n.
posterior antebrachial cutaneous n. radial n. inferior lateral brachial cutaneous n. sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the lateral distal arm and posterior forearm posterior antebrachial cutaneous n. passes posterior to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus
superficial radial n. radial n. dorsal digital brs. sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the posterolateral wrist and hand; dorsum of the lateral 3 1/2 digits (excluding the skin over the distal phalanx/nail bed) superficial radial n. is located deep to the brachioradialis muscle
superior lateral brachial cutaneous axillary no named branches sympathetic motor innervation to the skin skin of the lateral side of the proximal arm emerges at the posterior edge of the deltoid muscle




Lymphatics of the Thoracic Wall and Axillary Region

Structure Location Afferents from Efferents to Regions drained Notes
axillary nodes axilla cubital nodes; lymphatic vessels from the upper limb, thoracic wall including the breast, subscapular region efferents vessels form the subclavian trunk, some drainage to inferior deep cervical nodes upper limb, most of the mammary gland, some of the anterolateral chest wall, posterior thoracic wall and scapular region axillary nodes number from 20 to 30 and are organized in five groups based on their position within the axilla: 1) pectoral nodes, along the lateral border of the pectoralis major m.; 2) lateral nodes, located along the distal axillary v.; 3) central nodes, centrally located along axillary v.; 4) subscapular nodes, located along the subscapular v. and its tributaries; 5) apical nodes, located at the apex of axilla
axillary nodes, apical apex of the axilla lateral axillary nodes; central axillary nodes; subscapular axillary nodes; pectoral nodes; accessory lymphatic vessels from the mammary gland; lymphatic vessels accompanying the cephalic v. subclavian lymphatic trunk; deep cervical lymph nodes upper limb, most of the mammary gland, some of the anterolateral chest wall, posterior thoracic wall and scapular region apical axillary nodes are 6- 12 in number; this is the highest node group in the axilla and all other node groups drain through these nodes; a very important group of nodes in cases of metastatic spread of breast cancer; connections to deep cervical nodes may result in spread of breast cancer through the deep neck
axillary nodes, central in the fat of the axilla lateral axillary nodes; pectoral nodes; subscapular nodes; lymphatic vessels from the mammary gland and upper limb apical axillary nodes upper limb, most of the mammary gland, some of the anterolateral chest wall, posterior thoracic wall and scapular region central axillary nodes are 4 or 5 in number; they can be involved in cancer of the mammary gland
axillary nodes, lateral along the distal axillary v. cubital nodes; lymphatic vessels of the arm central axillary nodes, apical axillary nodes upper limb lateral axillary nodes become inflamed during upper limb infections; also known as: brachial nodes
axillary nodes, pectoral along the lateral border of the pectoralis major m. along the course of the lateral thoracic vessels lymphatic vessels from the mammary gland and anterolateral thoracic wall central axillary nodes anterolateral thoracic wall and muscles; most of the mammary gland an important group of nodes to examine during a breast physical exam; also known as: anterior axillary nodes
axillary nodes, subscapular along the course of the subscapular vessels lymphatic vessels from the skin of the back and back of the neck; lymphatic vessels from the muscles of the scapular region central axillary nodes skin of the back and back of the neck; muscles of the scapular and subscapular regions subscapular axillary nodes are 5 or 6 in number; also known as: posterior axillary nodes
parasternal nodes lateral border of sternum, along the course of the internal thoracic vessels anterior phrenic nodes, lymphatic vessels from the anterior thoracic wall larger lymphatic vessels in the root of the neck medial side of the mammary gland; medial part of the anterior chest wall and muscles parasternal nodes constitute an important drainage pattern in cases of cancer of the mammary gland because they communicate with hepatic nodes; one or two parasternal nodes may be found in the anterior end of intercostal spaces 1-6; also known as: sternal nodes
supraclavicular nodes in and around carotid sheath below level of omohyoid superior deep cervical nodes, transverse cervical nodes, spinal accessory nodes efferents form the jugular lymphatic trunk head and neck also known as: inferior deep cervical nodes

Other Tables of Interest:


Back Region


Upper Limb

All Anatomy Tables

Tables Organized by System Tables Organized by Region

Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

Content of tables edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2008, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Unauthorized use is prohibited.