Thymic branches of internal thoracic artery

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Thymic branches of internal thoracic artery
Details
Source internal thoracic artery
Vein thymic veins
Supplies thymus
Identifiers
Latin rami thymici arteriae thoracicae internae
TA A12.2.08.031
FMA 71514
Anatomical terminology

The Thymic branches of internal thoracic artery are arteries that supply the thymus.

Thymus organ of the immune system

The thymus is a specialized primary lymphoid organ of the immune system. Within the thymus, T cells mature. T cells are critical to the adaptive immune system, where the body adapts specifically to foreign invaders. The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located anatomically in the anterior superior mediastinum, in front of the heart and behind the sternum. Histologically, each lobe of the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule. The cortex and medulla play different roles in the development of T cells. Cells in the thymus can be divided into thymic stromal cells and cells of hematopoietic origin. Developing T cells are referred to as thymocytes and are of hematopoietic origin. Stromal cells include epithelial cells of the thymic cortex and medulla, and dendritic cells.

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The descending thoracic aorta is a part of the aorta located in the thorax. It is a continuation of the descending aorta and contained in the posterior mediastinal cavity. The descending thoracic aorta begins at the lower border of the fourth thoracic vertebra where it is continuous with the aortic arch, and ends in front of the lower border of the twelfth thoracic vertebra, at the aortic hiatus in the diaphragm where it becomes the abdominal aorta.

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Subclavian loop, also known as Vieussens' ansa after French anatomist Raymond Vieussens (1635-1715), is a nerve cord that is a connection between the middle and inferior cervical ganglion which is commonly fused with the first thoracic ganglion and is then called the stellate ganglion. The subclavian ansa forms a loop around the subclavian artery. This communicating branch downwards anteromedial to the vertebral artery makes a loop around the subclavian artery from anterior to posterior and then lies medially to the internal thoracic artery respectively. Sometimes there are two communicating branches encompassing the vertebral artery, one from anterior and the other from posterior.

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