open access

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)
Case report
Submitted: 2022-07-21
Accepted: 2022-10-07
Published online: 2022-12-23
Get Citation

Variations of accessory thoracic muscles identified in the ethnically diverse whole-body donation population in Northern California

H. Anderson1, J. A. Weil1, R. P. Tucker1
·
Pubmed: 36573363
·
Folia Morphol 2023;82(4):957-962.
Affiliations
  1. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Davis, California, United States

open access

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)
CASE REPORTS
Submitted: 2022-07-21
Accepted: 2022-10-07
Published online: 2022-12-23

Abstract

Accessory thoracic muscles in humans are relatively common and it is important
to draw awareness to their variable presentations and potential clinical implications
owing to their close association with the axilla. Here we report four cases
of accessory thoracic muscle variations identified in the ethnically diverse whole-
-body donation population in Northern California (4 out of 48 donors, 8.3%). Of
these, combined presentations of thoracic accessory muscles were observed in
two of the donors, one involving bilateral axillary arches and a pectoralis quartus
on the left and the other a unilateral axillary arch on the left and bilateral pairs
of pectoral fascicles. In the former, the proximal ends of the left axillary arch and
pectoralis quartus joined to form a common aponeurosis which inserted onto the
deep tendon of the pectoralis major; in the latter, the pectoral fascicles originated
from the surface of the ribs and inserted into the deep surface of the pectoralis
major muscle. In the other two donors, unilateral axillary arches were observed.
Our observations illustrate that accessory thoracic muscles, in isolated as well as
combined forms, are commonplace in the general population. We also describe
the proposed embryonic origins of these accessory muscles, which may reflect
their frequent occurrence, and potential clinical implications of these muscles, as
discussed in literature.

Abstract

Accessory thoracic muscles in humans are relatively common and it is important
to draw awareness to their variable presentations and potential clinical implications
owing to their close association with the axilla. Here we report four cases
of accessory thoracic muscle variations identified in the ethnically diverse whole-
-body donation population in Northern California (4 out of 48 donors, 8.3%). Of
these, combined presentations of thoracic accessory muscles were observed in
two of the donors, one involving bilateral axillary arches and a pectoralis quartus
on the left and the other a unilateral axillary arch on the left and bilateral pairs
of pectoral fascicles. In the former, the proximal ends of the left axillary arch and
pectoralis quartus joined to form a common aponeurosis which inserted onto the
deep tendon of the pectoralis major; in the latter, the pectoral fascicles originated
from the surface of the ribs and inserted into the deep surface of the pectoralis
major muscle. In the other two donors, unilateral axillary arches were observed.
Our observations illustrate that accessory thoracic muscles, in isolated as well as
combined forms, are commonplace in the general population. We also describe
the proposed embryonic origins of these accessory muscles, which may reflect
their frequent occurrence, and potential clinical implications of these muscles, as
discussed in literature.

Get Citation

Keywords

accessory thoracic muscle, axillary arch, pectoralis quartus, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, cadaver, gross anatomy laboratory

About this article
Title

Variations of accessory thoracic muscles identified in the ethnically diverse whole-body donation population in Northern California

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)

Article type

Case report

Pages

957-962

Published online

2022-12-23

Page views

652

Article views/downloads

389

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2022.0109

Pubmed

36573363

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2023;82(4):957-962.

Keywords

accessory thoracic muscle
axillary arch
pectoralis quartus
latissimus dorsi
pectoralis major
cadaver
gross anatomy laboratory

Authors

H. Anderson
J. A. Weil
R. P. Tucker

References (28)
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