Intercostal vessels


Anterior intercostal artery & vein:

  • In the upper 6 spaces: Branches of internal thoracic artery/ vein
  • In the lower spaces: Branches of musculophrenic artery/ vein.

Posterior intercostal arteries:

  • In the upper 2 spaces: Branches of superior intercostal artery
  • In the lower spaces: Branches of ascending thoracic aorta.

Posterior intercostal veins:

  • 1st: Drains into brachiocephalic vein
  • 2nd-4th: Drain into superior intercostal vein
  • The remaining posterior intercostal veins drain into azygos vein on the right, or hemiazygos and accessory hemiazygos vein on the left.


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