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Transverse cervical artery

The transverse cervical artery (also called transverse artery of the neck, Latin: arteria transversa colli) is a branch of the thyrocervical trunk that supplies the superficial muscles of the neck and upper back.

The transverse cervical artery arises in the interscalene triangle, passes posteriorly through the brachial plexus to the levator scapulae muscle, where it divides into terminal branches:

  • Superficial branch of the transverse cervical artery (also known as superficial cervical artery) - supplies the superficial muscles of the posterior part of the neck;
  • Deep branch (also called dorsal scapular artery) descends along the medial border of the scapula and supplies the superficial muscles of the back.


Dorsal scapular artery

The dorsal scapular artery (Latin: arteria dorsalis scapulae) is considered to be the deep branch of the transverse cervical artery, while in some literature it has been described as one of the direct branches of the subclavian artery.

The dorsal scapular artery runs laterally to the brachial plexus, deep to the levator scapulae and reaches the superior scapular angle. The artery supplies superficial muscles of the back, including the levator scapulae, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and the rhomboid muscles.