Thoracic ganglia

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Thoracic ganglia
Lower half of right sympathetic cord.
To thoracic splanchnic nerves, stellate ganglion
Latin ganglia thoracica
TA A14.3.01.024
FMA 77577
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The thoracic ganglia are paravertebral ganglia. The thoracic portion of the sympathetic trunk typically has 12 thoracic ganglia. Emerging from the ganglia are thoracic splanchnic nerves (the cardiopulmonary, the greater, lesser, and least splanchnic nerves) that help provide sympathetic innervation to abdominal structures. The thoracic part of sympathetic trunk lies posterior to the costovertebral pleura and is hence not a content of the posterior mediastinum

Paravertebral ganglia

Along the length of the sympathetic trunks are ganglia known as ganglia of sympathetic trunk, sympathetic ganglia or paravertebral ganglia. The ganglia are distinguished as cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral and, except in the neck, they closely correspond in number to the vertebrae.

Sympathetic trunk paired bundle of nerve fibers that run from the base of the skull to the coccyx

The sympathetic trunks are a paired bundle of nerve fibers that run from the base of the skull to the coccyx.

Thoracic splanchnic nerves

Thoracic splanchnic nerves are splanchnic nerves that arise from the sympathetic trunk in the thorax and travel inferiorly to provide sympathetic innervation to the abdomen. The nerves contain preganglionic sympathetic fibers and general visceral afferent fibers.

Also, the ganglia of the thoracic sympathetic trunk have both white and gray rami communicantes. The white rami carry sympathetic fibers arising in the spinal cord into the sympathetic trunk.

Spinal cord long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain

The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular structure made up of nervous tissue, that extends from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the lumbar region of the vertebral column. It encloses the central canal of the spinal cord that contains cerebrospinal fluid. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system (CNS). In humans, the spinal cord begins at the occipital bone where it passes through the foramen magnum, and meets and enters the spinal canal at the beginning of the cervical vertebrae. The spinal cord extends down to between the first and second lumbar vertebrae where it ends. The enclosing bony vertebral column protects the relatively shorter spinal cord. It is around 45 cm (18 in) in men and around 43 cm (17 in) long in women. Also, the spinal cord has a varying width, ranging from 13 mm thick in the cervical and lumbar regions to 6.4 mm thick in the thoracic area.

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Related Research Articles

Spinal nerve nerve that carries signals between the spinal chord and the body

A spinal nerve is a mixed nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body. In the human body there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, one on each side of the vertebral column. These are grouped into the corresponding cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal regions of the spine. There are eight pairs of cervical nerves, twelve pairs of thoracic nerves, five pairs of lumbar nerves, five pairs of sacral nerves, and one pair of coccygeal nerves. The spinal nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system.

Prevertebral ganglia

Prevertebral ganglia are sympathetic ganglia which lie between the paravertebral ganglia and the target organ.

Lumbar nerves

The lumbar nerves are the five pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the lumbar vertebrae. They are divided into posterior and anterior divisions.

Renal plexus

The renal plexus is formed by filaments from the celiac ganglia and plexus, aorticorenal ganglia, lower thoracic splanchnic nerves and first lumbar splanchnic nerve and aortic plexus.

Cardiac plexus a plexus of nerves situated at the base of the heart that innervates the heart

The cardiac plexus is a plexus of nerves situated at the base of the heart that innervates the heart.

White ramus communicans

The white ramus communicans from Latin ramus (branch) and communicans (communicating) is the preganglionic sympathetic outflow nerve tract from the spinal cord.

Each spinal nerve receives a branch called a gray ramus communicans from the adjacent paravertebral ganglion of the sympathetic trunk. The gray rami communicantes contain postganglionic nerve fibers of the sympathetic nervous system and are composed of largely unmyelinated neurons. This is in contrast to the white rami communicantes, in which heavily myelinated neurons give the rami their white appearance.

Pulmonary branches of vagus nerve

The pulmonary branches of the vagus nerve can be divided into two groups: anterior and posterior.

Sympathetic ganglion ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system

Sympathetic ganglia are the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system. They deliver information to the body about stress and impending danger, and are responsible for the familiar fight-or-flight response. They contain approximately 20,000–30,000 nerve cell bodies and are located close to and on either side of the spinal cord in long chains. Sympathetic ganglia are the tissue from which neuroblastoma tumours arise.

Lateral grey column

The lateral grey column is one of the three grey columns of the spinal cord ; the others being the anterior and posterior grey columns. The lateral grey column is primarily involved with activity in the sympathetic division of the autonomic motor system. It projects to the side as a triangular field in the thoracic and upper lumbar regions of the postero-lateral part of the anterior grey column.

Inferior cervical ganglion

The inferior cervical ganglion is situated between the base of the transverse process of the last cervical vertebra and the neck of the first rib, on the medial side of the costocervical artery.

Sacral splanchnic nerves

Sacral splanchnic nerves are splanchnic nerves that connect the inferior hypogastric plexus to the sympathetic trunk in the pelvis.

Cervical ganglia

The cervical ganglia are paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system. Preganglionic nerves from the thoracic spinal cord enter into the cervical ganglions and synapse with its postganglionic fibers or nerves. The cervical ganglion has three paravertebral ganglia:

Lumbar ganglia

The lumbar ganglia are paravertebral ganglia. The lumbar portion of the sympathetic trunk typically has 4 lumbar ganglia. The lumbar splanchnic nerves arise from the ganglia here, and contribute sympathetic efferent fibers to the nearby plexuses. The first two lumbar ganglia have both white and gray rami communicantes.

The sacral ganglia are paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic trunk.:39 As the sympathetic trunk heads inferiorly down the sacrum, it turns medially. There are generally four or five sacral ganglia. In addition to gray rami communicantes, the ganglia send off sacral splanchnic nerves to join the inferior hypogastric plexus.

Cardiopulmonary nerves are splanchnic nerves that are postsynaptic and sympathetic. They originate in cervical and upper thoracic ganglia and innervate the thoracic cavity.

Outline of the human nervous system

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the human nervous system: