The surgical significance of the internal thoracic arteries (ITA's) in procedures such as coronary artery bypass grafting, transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps and minimal incision direct coronary artery bypass surgery is well recognised. However, the detailed morphometry of these vessels is not well documented. This study aimed to detail the morphometry of the ITA's. Morphometric analysis of these vessels from post mortem en-bloc specimens, consisting of aortic arch, great vessels and ITA's with anterior chest wall was conducted on 62 adults. The mean lengths and diameters of the ITA's at the origin, costal cartilage levels and termination were: length of the right ITA, 18.05 ± 0.6 cm and the left, 18.085 ± 0.6 cm. The average diameters recorded at the origin, first costal cartilage, fourth costal cartilage and termination were: right: 3.24 ± 0.5 mm; 2.85 ± 0.4 mm; 2.33 ± 0.6 mm; 1.98 ± 0.2 mm and left: 3.05 ± 0.4 mm, 2.67 ± 0.3 mm; 2.22 ± 0.3 mm; 1.92 ± 0.2 mm respectively. Morphometry of the ITA's are detailed. There was no significant difference in length between right and left ITA's although differences between the race groups were demonstrated. Significant differences in diameters in sides and race exist.
- Internal thoracic artery
- Proximal, middle and distal segments
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging