Subclavian artery

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on February 13, 2015

There are two subclavian arteries that supply our arms with blood. The subclavian arteries branch to the vertebral arteries. These carry oxygenated blood up to the brain from the base of the neck. The right subclavian artery is located below the clavicle. It branches off the brachiocephalic trunk. The left subclavian artery branches off the arch of the aorta. It ends at the first rib's lateral edge. At this point, it turns into the axillary artery. Each subclavian artery is split into three parts in relation to the scalenus anterior muscle. The first part extends from the origin up to the muscle. The second part approximates the muscle. Lastly, the third part is lateral to the muscle. Each subclavian artery extends about two centimeters above the neck's clavicle, which is located above the pleura's apex. It is possible for an aneurysm (an abnormal blood vessel dilation) to form in one subclavian artery or in both. Some of the most common causes of an aneurysm of the subclavian artery are post-traumatic causes (e.g., being shot), thoracic outlet obstruction, and arteriosclerosis (when the arteries harden). 

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