1. Axillary artery and its branches
  2. Axillary veins and its proximal tributaries
  3. Brachial plexus - cords
  4. Axillary lymph nodes

The Axillary Artery

Lateral border of first rib as a continuation of subclavian artery to the lower border of teres major where it continues as brachial artery

Divided into three by pectoralis minor muscle.

  • Part 1 is proximal to the muscle.
  • Part 2 is posterior to the muscle.
  • Part 3 is distal to the muscle.




Branches and distribution

First Part

  • Supreme thoracic

Upper chest wall

Second part

  • Lateral thoracic

Runs with long thoracic nerve to supply serratus anterior and lateral breast


  • Thoracoacromial
  • Deltoid branch-deltoid muscle
  • Acromial branch-thoracoacromial joint
  • Clavicular branch-clavicle
  • Pectoral branch-pectoralis major and breast

Third Part

  • Subscapular
  • Circumflex scapular-scapular region
  • Thoracodorsal-scapular region and latissimus dorsi
  • Anterior humeral circumflex
  • Shoulder joint
  • Posterior humeral circumflex
  • Deltoid, humerus and shoulder joint.





Axillary Vein  

  • Extends from the lower border of teres major where it is formed by union of basilic vein and brachial vein to the lateral border of 1 st rib where it continues as subclavian vein

  • Located medial to the axillary artery

  • Receives tributaries corresponding to the branches of the axillary artery; and the cephalic vein.