Now that we have identified the structures making up the various walls of the axilla, it is time to take a look at its contents. We will first examine the blood vessels, then the nerves and finally, the lymphatics, in that order.

Axillary Artery

The axillary artery begins at the lateral border of the first rib as a continuation of the subclavian artery. It changes its name to brachial artery at lower (inferior) border of the teres major muscle. For purposes of description, it is broken up into three parts by its relation to the pectoralis minor muscle. The first part is between the lateral border of the first rib and the medial border of the pectoralis minor, the second part is behind the pectoralis minor and the third part is between the lateral border of the pectoralis minor and the inferior border of the teres major. parts of axillary artery
First Part
(1 branch)
Second Part
(2 branches)
Third Part
(3 branches)
1 superior thoracic a.
(supreme thoracic a.)
(highest thoracic a.)
2 thoracoacromial a.
3 lateral thoracic a.
4 subscapular a.
5 anterior humeral circumflex a.
6 posterior humeral circumflex a.
  • 4a thoracodorsal branch of subscapular
  • 4b scapular circumflex branch of subscapular
  • 8 brachial artery (continuation of the axillary) below lower border of teres major (tm)

Axillary Vein

The axillary vein lies along the medial side of the artery and is a continuation of the basilic vein. It begins at the inferior border of the teres major m. and ends at the lateral border of the first rib, where it becomes the subclavian v. It receives tributaries that parallel the branches of the axillary artery. The cephalic v. joins the axillary v. just before it becomes the subclavian. We won't give any further details here. This doesn't mean that it isn't important for maintaining proper function of the upper limb. I may be injured in sports as well as when a person uses a crutch. Penetrating wounds in the larger upper part are serious because air might enter into the venous system.

Vena comitans

The veins that run with their corresponding arteries are frequently multiple
(2 or 3 interconnected veins). This interconnected venous network is
called the vena commitantes.
vena commitantes

Axillary Walls Brachial Plexus

Table of Contents for Upper Limb & Back