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subclavian artery (anatomy)

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The subclavian artery on each side is the main branch from the aorta to the upper limb. It also provides branches to the respective side of the head, neck, thoracic cavity and mediastinum.

Each subclavian artery is in continuity with the ipsilateral axillary artery distally but originates from the:

  • brachiocephalic trunk on the right
  • aorta directly on the left

Each subclavian artery can be divided into three parts according to its position relative to the scalenus anterior muscle at the root of the neck.

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