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Bassett Collection of Stereoscopic Images of Human Anatomy

Dissection of thorax from a posterior approach

Intercostal nerves, vessels and muscles; costal pleura; thoracic aorta

Image #131-7

KEYWORDS: Bones joints cartilage, Fascia and connective tissue, Muscles and tendons, Peripheral nervous system, Pleura, Rib cage, Vasculature, Vertebral column.

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Higher resolution images are available for a fee. Contact Drew Bourn, PhD, MLIS.

Dissection of thorax from a posterior approach
Intercostal nerves, vessels and muscles; costal pleura; thoracic aorta
Ribs and vertebral bodies have been resected bilaterally between the second and the ninth thoracic segments. The periosteum (6) which covered the inner surfaces of the ribs have been preserved in most areas. The anterior longitudinal ligament (23), with remnants of the intervertebral discs attached, has also been retained in part. The lungs have been inflated and are visible through the intact costal pleura. The proximal parts of the III-VII spinal nerves have been positioned on the pleura in such a way that their dorsal and ventral roots, dorsal rami and communications with the sympathetic trunks are visible. These components are labeled for the left seventh thoracic nerve (8, 9, 10). The intercostal arteries and veins have been cut off in various ways.
1 . Rib II
2 . Intercostal nerve II
3 . Sympathetic trunk
4 . Costal pleura
5 . Rib III (cut off)
6 . Periosteum of sixth rib
7 . Thoracic aorta
8 . Left pointer: Intercostal nerve VII Right pointer: Ramus communicans
9 . Dorsal branch thoracic nerve VII
10 . Left pointer: Spinal ganglion and dorsal root Right pointer: Ventral root
11 . Innermost intercostal muscle
12 . Levator costarum brevis muscle
13 . Internal intercostal membrane
14 . External intercostal muscle
15 . Transverse process vertebra Th. II
16 . Inferior articular process
17 . Posterior longitudinal ligament
18 . Intervertebral disc Th. II-III
19 . Veins of third intervertebral foramen (bones removed)
20 . Ligamentous band extending from vertebrae to thoracic aorta
21 . Anulus fibrosus vertebra Th. V- VI
22 . Posterior intercostal artery and vein VI
23 . Anterior longitudinal ligament
24 . Ligamentum capitis costae radiatum (preserved with periosteum of rib)
25 . Spinal cord
26 . Rib IX