Transverse cervical artery

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Artery: Transverse cervical artery
The scapular and circumflex arteries. (Desc. br. of transverse cervical labeled at upper left.)
Latin arteria transversa cervicis, arteria transversa colli
Gray's subject #148 82
Source Thyrocervical trunk   
/ Elsevier

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The transverse cervical artery (transverse artery of neck, transversalis colli artery) is a branch of the thyrocervical trunk, running at a higher level than the suprascapular artery; it passes transversely above the inferior belly of the omohyoid muscle to the anterior margin of the trapezius, beneath which it divides into an ascending and a descending branch.

It crosses in front of the phrenic nerve and the scalene muscles, and in front of or between the divisions of the brachial plexus, and is covered by the platysma and sternocleidomastoid muscles, and crossed by the omohyoid and trapezius.


The transverse cervical artery splits into two branches, a superficial one and a deep one:

  • Superficial branch (also known as the superficial cervical artery)
  • Deep branch (also called the dorsal scapular artery)

Superficial branch

The superficial cervical artery is another name for the superficial branch of transverse cervical artery. It ascends beneath the anterior margin of the trapezius, distributing branches to it, and to the neighboring muscles and lymph glands in the neck, and anastomosing with the superficial branch of the descending branch of the occipital artery.

Deep branch

See dorsal scapular artery.

Additional images

External links

  • SUNY Labs 01:04-0100 - "Muscles of the Back: Spinal Accessory Nerve (CN XI) and Transverse Cervical Vessels"
  • SUNY Figs 26:03-04 - "Branches of the first part of the subclavian artery."

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.