2018 年 65 巻 3 号 p. 105-108
Summary: We report a case of bilateral lateral costal branches (LCB) of the internal thoracic artery (ITA). On the left side, the ITA branched from the subclavian artery as a common trunk with the thyrocervical trunk. The left LCB flew into the collateral branch of the fifth intercostal artery after reaching the upper end of the sixth rib and after exiting the left ITA at the upper part of the first rib. The left ITA was disconnected near the second rib because it had been used for coronary artery bypass surgery. The right ITA arose from the anterior surface of the right subclavian artery just after the right ITA diverged from the brachiocephalic artery. The right LCB reached the upper end of the fifth rib and flew into the collateral branch of the fourth intercostal artery. The right ITA descended along the back of the costal cartilages as usual. The mechanism of the development of the LCB is thought to be due to a lateral longitudinal anastomosis connecting the inter-node arteries arising from the dorsal aorta during the embryonic phase. More anatomical and embryological studies are necessary to further elucidate this variant arterial branch.