Sternalis muscle, what every anatomist and clinician should know
Michael Snosek Clinical Anatomy Volume 27, Issue 6, pages 866–884, September 2014
The sternalis muscle is a well documented but rare muscular variation of the anterior thoracic wall. It lies between the superficial fascia and the pectoral fascia and is found in about 8% of the population.
It presents in several morphological variants both unilaterally and bilaterally and has no apparent physiological function.
There is still much disagreement about its nerve supply and embryological origin. With the advent of medical imaging and thoracic surgery the clinical importance of this muscle has been re-emphasized. It has been implicated in misdiagnosis of breast masses on routine mammograms owing to its parasternal location and relative unfamiliarity among radiologists. When undetected before any thoracic surgery, it has the potential to interfere with and prolong such procedures. When present and detected preoperatively it can be used as a muscular flap in reconstructive surgeries of the breast and neck. This article will present the sternalis muscle with special emphasis on its morphology, homology, and clinical significance
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